Laurel, MD | Freehold, NJ | Richmond, VA

Call Us Today: 1-888-992-1363

Patient Resource Center

  • Web Site Options:
  • Printer Friendly
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add To Your Favorites
  • Re-Size Your Text: Aa Aa Aa

Sleep Testing

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea, also called obstructive sleep apnea/OSA, is a common medical condition that effects people while they sleep. Sleep apnea affects 1 in 5 people, mostly adults. Sleep apnea causes people with the disorder to stop breathing for short periods of time throughout the night while they sleep. These short episodes can occur many times every minute and continue throughout the sleep cycle. As a person ages or gains weight, the soft tissues in the back of the throat and neck sag and relax.

These sagging soft tissues caused the airway to narrow and become blocked and you stop breathing. The brains natural defenses cause us to startle and wake up suddenly to restart the breathing. A person can do this may times a minute and hundreds of times throughout the night, often without remembering it all. It is often the bed partner that notices the problem. If this happens each night and many nights in a row, this poor sleep cause a person to be tired and increases the risk of other health issues.

What are some of the risks from sleep apnea?

  • Sleep apnea is a serious condition and can be life-threatening. It should never be ignored. Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, weight gain/obesity and heart disease. With treatment, people with sleep apnea can live healthy, active lives.
  • Diabetes: As many as 50 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes also suffer from sleep apnea. Studies show the body's ability to use glucose and insulin is negatively affected by sleep apnea.
  • Hypertension/High blood pressure: Sleep apnea is strongly tied to sleep apnea. As many as 1 in 3 people with hypertension/high blood pressure also have sleep apnea. Hypertension means the heart has to work harder and pump and can cause long term damage and increase the person's risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Obesity/Overweight: People with untreated sleep apnea have a greater tendency to gain weight and be overweight, often because people who are sleep deprived eat to stay awake and being tired decreases activity level. Gaining that weight then causes the person's sleep apnea to get worse, creating a vicious and dangerous cycle.

What causes Snoring?

Snoring may seem funny in cartoons and old movies, but is actually dangerous and a warning sign of sleep apnea. Snoring happens when air is being squeezed through your throat's narrowed opening. Some snoring is natural and is called primary snoring. Almost everyone snores sometimes. Sleep apnea snoring is not common but is dangerous. This type of snoring causes you to stop breathing and should be taken seriously.

Snoring does not mean you have sleep apnea and not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. The only way to know if you have sleep apnea is by watching for the related side effects and then having a sleep test. Talk to the experts at A1DME about a sleep test to learn more.

I'm tired of being tired!

Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of untreated sleep apnea, but the sleep apnea may not be the only reason you are fatigued.

There are many other possible reasons for being fatigued and tired that should not be ignored including pregnancy, diabetes, some cancers, thyroid issues, depression, stress, medication and medication interaction, pregnancy and lack of sleep. Talk to your doctor about your fatigue to rule out other potential health issues.

Is Home Sleep Testing for me?

As we have mentioned, the only sure way to correctly diagnose sleep apnea is with a sleep study. a sleep study, also called a polysomnography, is available in two methods; traditional and the home sleep test.

The traditional sleep test is performed overnight in a sleep lab. This can take one night or several. The person getting the test is hooked up to painlessly hooked up to several devices that monitor and record the person's sleep while sleep technicians monitor the patient. This information is recorded and diagnosed and then treatment is prescribed. Some people find it difficult to sleep in this type of lab environment.

The second type of test is the In Home Sleep Test. This test uses the latest technology to record the same findings, but is performed in the person's own bed in the comfort of the person's home. These In Home Sleep Test are cheaper, but cases of severe sleep apnea may still require an overnight visit to a lab facility.

Benefits of the In Home Sleep Test to the undiagnosed patient include:

Being more comfortable: We all sleep better in our own beds and most people don't sleep well while being watched.

It's more convenient: Studies show that up to over 1/3 of people never show up for their scheduled sleep tests. With A1 DME, the HST device is delivered right to your door with complete instructions and an easy to read instruction manual. No need to leave your house at night to drive across town, or leave your family or pets at home. Just drop everything in the included UPS prepaid box the next day and we will schedule a pickup from your home. Wait 2-3 days for us to get back in touch with you regarding your report. Nothing could be easier!

Cost savings: As insurances keep changing and covering less and less, any money that can be saved is welcomed! The In Home Sleep Test is between 1/3rd and 1/10th the cost of an in-lab study and produced the same results in most cases. * The In Home Sleep Test caters to those who may be at risk for mild to moderate conditions and more sever sleep apnea may require lab-based testing.

If a loved one or physician has urged you to get tested for sleep apnea, please contact the sleep apnea experts at A1DME today and let us find a solution that will work for you!