Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
Diagnosing sleep apnea requires observation and review of the individual patient’s risk factors. Observation may include a formal sleep study at home or at a sleep study center. Sleep study centers offer the advantage of state-of-the-art diagnostics using polysomnography and/or Home Sleep Testing (HST). A polysomnogram (PSG) test records and measures breathing, brain, muscle, eye, and heart activity during the various stages of sleep. The results of your PSG provide the basis for diagnosing sleep apnea, and, when indicated, classifying the diagnosis as mild, moderate, or severe. Often the initial screening for OSA uses a method called pulse oximetry which measures oxygen levels in the blood while sleeping. Home sleep testing devices (also called portable monitors) lack EEG channels and their purpose is limited to detecting sleep disordered breathing but not stages of sleep. Currently, the majority of sleep studies are done in overnight labs, but the trend is rapidly shifting to diagnosis at home. The diagnostic techniques best suited for your needs will depend on your individual symptoms and risk factors, as determined during your initial consultation with Dr. Sall.