How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

If you are concerned about the quantity or quality of your sleep, it is wise to discuss your unease with your general practitioner. Talking with your internist or family practitioner can help you determine whether you are experiencing an easily remedied situation or if your symptoms seem to be indicative of something more serious. A thorough examination and exploration of any history of sleep problems in your or your family’s past may be done before your doctor considers referring you to a specialist.

Referral to a sleep specialist in Minnesota. Sleep specialist means you will be evaluated by a physician who has continued their medical training with an emphasis on sleep medicine. Often a sleep specialist also practices as a neurologist, pulmonologist, otolaryngologist, psychiatrist, or family doctor, but takes a particular interest in sleep issues and their solutions.

If your family physician has not performed a sleep study, this is likely the first procedure the sleep specialist will order. A nocturnal polysomnography is a process that involves attaching monitors that keep track of a range of your vital signs and their efficiency. The doctor will be interested in heart, lung, and brain activity while you attempt or succeed in sleeping. Other bodily processes monitored included muscle activity, the movement your arms and legs make, and the level of oxygen in your blood.

The sleep specialist will take all the data recorded and compare with averages and norms to see how your sleep experience deviates from the typical or average occurrences reported by those who do not report or show sleep disturbances. The specialized training your sleep specialist received and his or her familiarity with the condition assist when working towards a proper assessment.

To ensure that enough reliable data is collected, your sleep specialist may prescribe a portable monitoring device. You use this at home to gather more and longer-term information of how your body acts and reacts during sleep. When used to diagnose sleep apnea the devices will use probes to track your blood oxygen levels, your heart rate, the effectiveness and volume of your airflow, and a range of characteristics concerning your breathing.

Once the assessment is completed and sleep apnea is diagnosed, there is a range of treatment available. Often losing weight or making other lifestyle changes can positively impact the problem, even making further interventions unnecessary. Sometimes surgery or an appliance used during sleep gives good results. A CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine is frequently ordered and can make a huge difference in how you feel and sleep.

Attending to and improving your sleep hygiene reaps large benefits. Sleep apnea can injure your heart health and has been linked to stroke and diabetes. Resolving issues through a consultation with a sleep specialist is a smart idea.