How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
1. Talk To Your Doctor: Proper diagnosis of sleep apnea requires a visit to a doctor if someone is exhibiting symptoms of the condition. If you think you might have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor right away about which option is right for you. Talk to your health insurance company as well, as some companies require a home test first before they will cover a full sleep study.
NOTE: Heartstrong has Board Certified Sleep Physicians available for telehealth visits to assist with your diagnosis process. We also handle your insurance verification and payment options.
2. Get A Sleep Study: The only way to truly determine if someone has sleep apnea is to obtain a proper evaluation called a sleep study (or sleep test), typically performed overnight during regular sleeping hours, which can be conducted either in the sleep clinic or at home.
a. In an In-Clinic sleep study, you spend one night at a sleep clinic. Medical staff will connect you to machines that monitor your breathing, blood oxygen levels, brain-wave activity, and leg movements. These indicators help them determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, and how severe it is.
b. Home Sleep Studies: The home study (home sleep test), providing patients with equipment that measures heart rate, blood oxygen level, airflow and breathing patterns, became much more common due to the pandemic. Based on the results of your home test, your doctor may still recommend a full in-hospital sleep study or recommend you start sleep apnea treatment.
NOTE: Home sleep studies/tests are the most popular option. With advancements in technology, the sleep apnea diagnosis process has become more convenient. The entire process can be managed from the comfort of your own home.