Suspect You Have Sleep Apnea? How to Get Diagnosed

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Posted on Sunday, August 22nd, 2021 at 3:56 pm    

They say that the first step to solving any problem is to admit that you have a problem. Maybe you are always tired, feeling run-down, and are becoming more and more cranky. Sometimes one cup of coffee in the morning just doesn’t seem like enough. In the back of your brain, you may already have an inkling that something just isn’t right, but what? It may be time to take a step back and examine how you sleep.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Studies report that as many as 18 million people may suffer from a sleep condition known as sleep apnea. However, about 80 percent of those people are undiagnosed. That means you may be living with a serious sleep condition and not even know it.

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to breathe abnormally while they sleep. Although there are several different types of sleep apnea, in general, sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing temporarily. When the person stops breathing, they wake up suddenly because their body detects a diminished oxygen supply. Sleep apnea needs to be taken seriously because, in addition to preventing a restful night’s sleep, it can also result in other significant health complications.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Step one on your way to a diagnosis is to recognize that you have a problem. If you think your current issues may be sleep-related, see if you have any of these classic sleep apnea symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty thinking or focusing
  • Sore throat first thing in the morning
  • Snoring or your partner complains that you are snoring

The Diagnosis

You’ve discovered that you have symptoms that align with sleep apnea, so what’s next? It is time to talk to a sleep expert. Document your symptoms, prepare a list of questions, and schedule an appointment with a physician that specializes in sleep. A physician can listen to your concerns, rule out other possibilities, and may wish to schedule you for a sleep study.

Some cases of sleep apnea can be diagnosed with an at-home sleep test. An at-home sleep test involves being prescribed a special device that you take home with you. It measures your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and body movements while you sleep. The doctor can then review the information from the machine to determine if sleep apnea is the appropriate diagnosis.

In some cases, a doctor may wish to conduct a sleep study, or nocturnal polysomnography, in the office. A nocturnal polysomnography study will measure many of the same elements, but it will be administered in a comfortable sleep-office setting where practitioners can examine your symptoms in real-time while you sleep. In either case, the data that is gathered can be crucial to diagnosing a patient correctly, especially because there are different types of sleep apnea that an individual may have.

If you are having problems with the quality of your sleep or suspect that you may have sleep apnea, contact Silent Night Therapy for help. Don’t rely on a self-diagnosis. Talk to a sleep professional who can use technology and the latest medical advances to help you reach an accurate diagnosis. Start your journey to better sleep today by calling 631-983-2463 or scheduling a complimentary sleep consultation.