What Can You Learn From A Home Sleep Test?
- Posted on: Jun 12 2018
What does a sleep study test for?
A sleep study is a diagnostic test to evaluate for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA is a disorder where there is a cessation of the airflow during sleep (apnea) or a significant reduction in the airflow during sleep causing a drop in the oxygen concentration (hypopnea).
What is a home sleep test?
Our home sleep testing instrument (HST) is a simple device that includes a chest band, a pulse oximeter, and a nasal flow monitor. It can detect if the patient is trying to breathe but the airflow is reduced or stopped along with the drop in oxygen in the blood. The software graphically displays this after we do the download in our office.
The number of episodes of apnea and hypopnea is counted while the person is sleeping to determine the apnea/hypopnea index (AHI). The AHI is the number of apnea and hypopnea episodes per hour on average during sleep. Less then 5 episodes per hour is normal. Mild OSA is when there is between 5-15 episodes per hour. Moderate OSA is when there is between 15-30 episodes per hour. Severe OSA is when there is greater than 30 episodes per hour.
The greater the AHI the more severe the sleep apnea is and the more serious it may be to your health. Studies show that mild, moderate, and severe sleep apnea can make the patient feel fatigued and affect the patient’s health. Hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiac arrhythmia, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and dementia are all consequences of untreated sleep apnea. The risk of having these illnesses increases as the severity of the sleep apnea increases.
If you think you or you loved one may have sleep apnea having a simple home sleep test (HST) can accurately identify if sleep apnea is present and how severe it is. We have many ways to successfully treat sleep apnea including simple office procedures done under IV sedation that open the nasal airway and the throat.