June 17, 2020
Sleep apnea is extremely dangerous in the long run and should be treated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many people don’t get the care they need simply because they don’t even realize they have the disorder in the first place; most of the telltale symptoms (such as loud snoring and choking) occur when you’re asleep, meaning you may not even realize they’re happening if you live alone. You might suspect that you have sleep apnea if you keep waking up feeling exhausted or suffering from a headache, but to confirm your suspicions, you’ll need to undergo an at-home sleep apnea test. Read on to learn how your sleep disorder can be quickly and accurately diagnosed in the comfort of your own bed.
How Do At-Home Sleep Apnea Tests Work?
While traditional sleep apnea tests are performed in a laboratory, today many sleep experts prefer systems that you can take home with you. One such system is DROWZLE, which is a special app that you download on your phone. When you go to bed at night, you simply turn the app on before allowing yourself to fall asleep as usual. Your phone will be recording the sounds of your breathing and will develop a detailed report based on the results. After several nights of using the app, you’ll bring the reports to your sleep dentist so that they can figure out whether or not you’re at risk for sleep apnea and advise you on your next steps.
What Can a Sleep Apnea Test Tell You?
The primary purpose of a sleep test is to monitor the patterns of your breathing. Specifically, it tells you how many times breathing was interrupted and how long those pauses lasted. It can also tell you how much effort it takes you to breathe as well as whether or not breathing is shallow during the night. It’s important to note that the test isn’t meant to evaluate the actual quality of your rest; for example, it can’t tell you how much time you spend in REM sleep. Nevertheless, the information related to your breathing is usually enough to point your sleep dentist towards an accurate solution.
What are the Benefits of Having a Sleep Apnea Test Done at Home?
At-home sleep tests are generally more comfortable and convenient for patients. You won’t have to make arrangements to stay at a laboratory across town, and you’ll find it easier to fall asleep in your own room (which in turn will result in more accurate readings). Once the test is complete and the results have been analyzed, you can start taking the first steps towards having sleep apnea (or another disorder) properly treated.
If you think you or one of your loved ones might have sleep apnea, get in touch with a sleep dentist today; they can point you in the direction of DROWZLE or other sleep tests that can confirm the presence of the condition so that you can have it addressed and finally rest easier at night.
About the Author
Dr. David B. Schwartz has been a practicing dentist since 1988. During his career, he has become one of the nation’s foremost experts on dental sleep, eventually becoming the Dental Director with the Center for Sleep Medicine. He is an expert in treating sleep apnea with oral appliances and gives frequent lectures on the topic. To ask about having a sleep test performed, get in touch with his Skokie practice, Sleep Better Chicagoland, through his website or by calling (847) 677-2808.
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