How do you diagnose Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea can be diagnosed through Polysomnography (PSG) or Home Sleep Test. Tests to detect obstructive sleep apnea include:
Polysomnography:A PSG is a sleep study for diagnosing sleep apnea. This study records heart, lung, brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, blood oxygen levels and blood pressure while you are asleep.
A PSG also records breathing pattern, air movement through your nose while you breathe, snoring, limbs and chest movements. The chest movements show whether you're making an effort to breathe.
PSGs often are done at sleep centers or sleep labs. The test is painless. You'll go to sleep as usual, except you'll have sensors attached to your scalp, face, chest, limbs, and a finger. The staff at the sleep center will use the sensors to check on you throughout the night.
If your doctor thinks that you have sleep apnea, he or she may schedule a split-night sleep study. During the first half of the night, your sleep will be checked without a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. A CPAP machine uses mild air pressure to keep your airway open while you sleep. This will show whether you have sleep apnea and how severe it is.
If the PSG shows that you have sleep apnea, you’ll use a CPAP machine during the second half of the split-night study. They will adjust the flow of air from the CPAP machine to find the setting that works best for you.
Home sleep apnea testing: Under certain circumstances, your doctor may provide you with an at-home version of polysomnography to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. This test usually involves measurement of airflow, breathing patterns and blood oxygen levels, and possibly limb movements and snoring intensity.