While obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)has been demonstrated to be a very serious medical condition try getting someone tested. It isn’t always so easy. Getting tested and diagnosed for sleep apnea typically involves a sleep study or polysomnography, which means spending the night away from home hooked up to a machine. For that reason a lot of people remain undiagnosed and suffer from snoring and the health issues associated with OSA including risk for stroke and cardio vascular disease. While a sleep study remains the best way to make a diagnosis the good news is there is now and easier alternative. Home testing for OSA is becoming more common. Many insurers will cover it as a more a cost-effective diagnostic tool and patients generally find it more convenient and comfortable. But home testing it isn’t right for everyone. Here are a few pros and cons.
Home testing is done in the comfort of your own bed. With a little guidance patient can attach a finger oxygen probe, chest belt and a nasal tube before hitting the hay like any other night.
Con: Lack of Detailed results
Home tests only measure breathing, not sleep. For this reason results are often not as conclusive as a sleep study.
Home sleep tests are less expensive than sleep studies. For this reason insurance companies will often cover them for an initial test. They can help determine whether an over night sleep study is even needed at all.
Con: Not for Everyone
They are only suggested only for people who have demonstrated a high risk for sleep apnea based on other criteria like excessive snoring. They are also not a suggested for people with conditions, like heart failure, lung disease, hypoventilation or other sleep disorders.
While they are not suitable for everyone home sleep testing is a viable alternative for many patients who might otherwise go undiagnosed.
If you have questions about at home sleep apnea testing dental feel free to call our offices.