Sleep clinics provide assessment, diagnosis, and sleep apnea treatment plans for patients with apnea symptoms, supporting patients in taking their initial steps toward an apnea diagnosis. If you’re concerned, you may have a sleep disorder or have been referred by a doctor for other sleep disorders screening; it can be beneficial to learn about the screening process and prepare for what to expect at your first appointment.
Step One: Convenient Online Sleep Screener
Most patients start their treatment with our convenient online screening questionnaire, allowing them to review symptoms and concerns without committing to in-person appointments or consultation fees. The screener contains questions designed by qualified cardiologists to guide doctors with efficient apnea assessments. With a 92% accuracy rate, patients can be assured that when they test for sleep apnea at The Sleep Cycle Center, they will know if they have it and how to treat it accordingly. This process could be seen as a form of pre-operative sleep assessment.
Step Two: Consultation To Address Sleep Concerns
After being screened, if the screening results point to a suspected case of apnea, you can continue your care at the Sleep Cycle Center. At this stage, a consultation should be arranged to review your sleep history in further detail and discuss the next possible steps. This appointment will follow an assessment of medical history, lifestyle, and medications to build a detailed picture of overall health. Here, we also consider the high frequency of snoring testimonials from patients.
The questions we’ll need to know about your symptoms and lifestyle include:
- The quality and length of your sleep and how this may affect your day-to-day life, including work, hobbies, and relationships.
- If you work specific shifts that may impact your sleep patterns.
- Records or accounts of any symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them.
- If you smoke (or have previously).
- A detailed medical background, including family history, a list of medications, and any current health conditions or surgeries.
Step Three: Evaluating Sleep Apnea With A Specialized Sleep Study
After completing the initial stages of the apnea assessment and treatment consideration, our team will build a detailed picture of your sleep issues and any suspected medical conditions. However, these results alone are insufficient evidence to confirm an official apnea case. Therefore, we offer WatchPat One, a specialized home sleep apnea monitor, as part of our formal diagnosis process.
Understanding the Results of a Home Sleep Test
You might wonder, “how does a home sleep study work?” More than 40% of confirmed diagnoses are achieved now through home testing equipment, assessing Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI), Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI), and Oxygen Desaturation Index (ODI) against True Sleep Time and Staging. The device, which mimics the design of a typical fitness watch, is worn on the wrist overnight to measure heart rate, body position, snoring episodes, and chest movements, revealing abnormalities that pinpoint to a sleeping disorder. Unlike in-clinic apnea tests, the WatchPat can show signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) from a patient in their most realistic sleep environment, accurately depicting your night-time behaviors.
Step Four: Our Sleep Team Will Review Your Data
Once your home testing is complete, a member of our medical team will discuss the results to confirm if an apnea diagnosis has been found from the assessment. Suppose we can formally confirm a sleep disorder from your results. In that case, we will review the best treatment approaches, lifestyle changes, and ongoing medical care to fit your lifestyle and symptoms. This might involve oral appliance therapy, where a dental device helps to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. This form of oral appliance therapy has seen significant success in treating sleep apnea.
What To Expect After Your Sleep Test
For many, this consultation is the first opportunity to discuss their ongoing issues with a sleep provider, which may sometimes leave patients feeling overwhelmed and nervous about the process. We understand that, and we’re here to help. Bringing documentation, such as sleep diaries, logs of ongoing symptoms, and witness accounts from bedroom partners, can help ease the pressure of the consultation and support medical plans for further testing and treatment.
Does anyone ever pass a sleep apnea test?
Yes, and it’s important to remember that having a sleep study doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be diagnosed with sleep apnea. Instead, it’s a comprehensive sleep apnea screening process to identify potential issues, and we’re here to help you understand the process at every step.
How long is a sleep study?
The duration of a sleep study varies, but generally, it’s performed over one whole night. Sleep studies are essential to diagnosing sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can cause high levels of daytime sleepiness, so we may use a sleepiness scale to measure this. Our commitment is to stop the negative impacts of sleep apnea on your life, and we’re equipped with the knowledge, expertise, and tools to do so.
Contact Us For Reliable And Comfortable Apnea Screenings
Our team is dedicated to empowering patients to manage sleep conditions, from convenient access to screening and testing equipment to holistic approaches to treating apnea. Suppose you or your doctor are concerned about a suspected apnea diagnosis, or you are taking the first steps in the assessment process or starting the initial referral process. In that case, our free Sleep Assessment Form is over 90% successful at identifying individuals with sleep apnea within 48 hours. Call our team to learn more!