- Home sleep apnea test requested or ordered
- Appointment to pick up the test device
- —– Instructions on how to wear the device
- —– Instructions on how to operate the device
- At home you put the device on and wear for a night of sleep
- Appointment to return the device
- Follow up appointment with your physician for results
Home sleep apnea testing is an overnight recording that you will carry out on your own. Home sleep apnea testing became available in 2005. It has been widely used in the field of sleep medicine since the government, through Medicare, accepted it as a diagnostic test for obstructive sleep apnea about six years later.. There are multiple devices available. The FDA approves them. Your sleep testing facility will utilize one of these devices.
If your physician has ordered it for you, the day of your study you will have an appointment to pick up the testing unit. You will be shown the unit and how to wear it for your test. They will help you fit any monitors that need adjustments. The units are easy to use and quite accurate. You will take the unit home to perform the test.
At your bedtime you will put on the testing apparatus and start the test with the push of a single button. When you get up for your day in the morning you will push the button to terminate the study recording. You will pack up the unit and return it to the Center where the information recorded will be downloaded.
The home sleep tests are purely tests for obstructive sleep apnea. They are exceptionally good at diagnosing obstructive apnea in the vast majority of individuals. People with milder forms of apnea, difficulty with initiating and staying asleep, and people with positional apnea, may have the condition missed on home sleep apnea testing. When mild apnea is suspect, a sleep test performed in a sleep center, a polysomnography, is the medically preferred test. Unfortunately many insurance providers require all patients who need testing for sleep disorders to have a home sleep apnea test as the first step in their testing evaluation with limited exceptions.
Question – Obstructive sleep apnea is treated for two reasons. Do you know what they are?
Updated January 2020