Home Sleep Study
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a disease with dangerous consequences for health. It can be suspected by regular “bogatyr” snoring and daytime sleepiness. But how many people are ready to go to the doctor if the problem at first sight consists only of nocturnal “trillings”? And what percentage of them would agree to stay overnight in a somnological laboratory and sleep under the supervision of specialists?
In order to diagnose OSAS and determine the severity of the disease, a simple consultation with a doctor is not enough, you really need an examination. The most accurate information about the patient’s condition during the night’s rest is given by polysomnography. But the procedure is complicated and costs a lot. And, frankly speaking, not every city has an opportunity to pass such testing. Fortunately, there is an alternative method – cardiorespiratory monitoring. Ideally, it should also be carried out in a somnologic center under the supervision of a doctor. However, this test can also be done at home.
We will tell you about the advantages and common problems of home diagnostics of nocturnal apnea, and also point out the situations when the examination in the laboratory can’t be avoided.
What is a Home Sleep Study?
Home testing requires special equipment, which is provided by many sleep medicine centers after prior consultation with a specialist. For the examination, sensors are attached to the patient’s body, which allow you to determine:
- The nature of the airflow when breathing;
- Presence of snoring;
- The movement of the chest;
- Fluctuations in blood oxygen levels;
- Pulse rate or electrocardiogram;
- Changes in position, as well as body movement (this feature is not common to all models of equipment and is not mandatory).
The data obtained during home testing should be processed and analyzed by an expert in respiratory sleep medicine. Many such devices allow you to obtain a protocol of the results of the examination in automatic mode. But without verification of the automatic analysis data by a specialist, without taking into account the patient’s condition and medical history, the reliability of the diagnosis may be very low.
The Pros of Sleep Study at Home
When comparing testing in a sleep lab and at home, it is not difficult to name the advantages of the latter option for the patient.
- Level of comfort. The very thought of sleeping at home and someone watching you sleep can seem strange and uncomfortable. Therefore, home testing is much more comfortable, because you are in your own bed and no one is embarrassed. Moreover, it is not at all difficult to use such a device: you will be instructed in detail before the examination.
- Convenient planning of time. If you have a home examination, you can choose when to start the test. You do not have to adjust to the work schedule of doctors or other patients who are examined in the laboratory before or after you.
- It is ideal for patients with severe OSAS. As a rule, the cardiorespiratory equipment in such patients easily records multiple episodes of apnea, and the result of the examination is almost the same as that obtained in polysomnography.
- Cost. The cost of the test is one of the first questions that concerns patients with suspected OSAS. The cost of a home test is usually two or even three times less than the price of a laboratory polysomnography.