Diagnosing Sleep Apnea Birmingham, AL

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea An Overview

The first step toward proper diagnosis and treatment for a sleep disorder or sleep apnea is to undergo a sleep study. Dr. Spink works with local medical professionals who have advanced training in sleep medicine and are able to provide a medical diagnosis. There are two types of sleep studies, one performed in a lab setting and a take-home study option using portable monitors. Most consider the lab study or polysomnogram (PSG) to be the most comprehensive for making a more complete diagnosis for the patient.

If you have expressed concerns about your quality of sleep, have common oral signs of a possible sleep disorder or fall into major risk categories, Dr. Spink will coordinate the appropriate sleep study with a local physician. The results of your sleep study will determine the most effective treatment option for resolving sleep apnea and improving overall health.

cpap machine for sleep apnea

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea What to Expect

A proper medical diagnosis is an important step in improving your sleep, overall health and symptoms. Dr. Spink can coordinate your care with a local physician trained in sleep medicine for the best possible outcome. Once the sleep study results are evaluated, Dr. Spink and your physician can determine if oral appliance therapy is the right solution for your immediate needs. In some cases, CPAP treatment is used to stabilize your health with the goal of eventually using an oral appliance as a long-term treatment option.

Lab Sleep Study

A polysomnogram is conducted in a sleep lab or a hospital setting and will require an overnight stay. Patients will be attached to a set of monitors that will monitor vital signs, sleep patterns and oxygen levels in the bloodstream during sleep.

A lab sleep study will be conducted in a room designed to look and feel like a comfortable bedroom and patients are encouraged to bring their own pajamas and any other items that they think will help them feel relaxed. Many patients are concerned that they will not be able to fall or stay asleep in an unfamiliar environment, but only a short amount of time asleep is actually needed for conclusive testing data. If sleep apnea is detected, you may need to stay for an additional night so that a CPAP can be put in place and titrated, finding the appropriate level of air pressure to eliminate your apnea.

It typically takes about 2 weeks time to receive the final diagnosis and your physician will make recommendations for the most suitable treatment option(s) to address symptoms and minimize health risks.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea FAQs

Is a sleep study covered by insurance?

In many cases, if a sleep disorder is the suspected cause of health concerns a sleep study can be covered by your health insurance or Medicare. Your physician will work with you to determine your coverage and benefits.

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