In order to get an accurate diagnosis of sleep apnea, the patient needs to be screened for possible sleep disorders. This screener also provides important information needed to prescribe sleep test for this patient. Knowing when to screen for sleep apnea can be difficult for doctors new to the condition. It can also be hard for someone to know when to ask their doctor for a sleep apnea screener.
In this article, Dr. Avi Weisfogel breaks down the sleep apnea screening process. He will explain when one is needed, what the screener entails, and what to do once the results come in. Avi Weisfogel is well qualified to provide this information. He received his DDS from the New York University College of Dentistry. Plus, he is well known in the sleep apnea world as the founder of the International Academy of Sleep, an organization that is providing a new model for treating sleep disorders like sleep apnea.
When to ask for a sleep apnea screener
Dr. Avi Weisfogel explains that the easiest way to know if you need a sleep apnea test is simply anytime you experience one of the symptoms of sleep apnea. These included interrupted sleep, erratic breathing while asleep, gasping for breath while asleep, and headaches. If you or a partner experience any of these issues, you should ask your doctor about screening for sleep apnea.
Physicians may want to ask a patient about their risk factors for sleep apnea. Some major causes of sleep apnea include the patient being overweight, a heavy smoker or drinker, having a large neck, or being over forty. If any of these risk factors are present, it may be a good idea to get screened.
What does the sleep apnea screening process entail?
Sleep apnea positive screeners usually lead to a sleep study. You can now do a sleep study in a lab or at home. No matter where you decide to do the sleep study, you will have adhesive sensors on your scalp, forehead, chin, chest, leg, and index finger. The doctor may also place bands on your chest and stomach to measure your breathing.
The sensors and bands collect data about your bodily functions while you are asleep. Once you wake in the morning, the results are collected and analyzed by your medical professional.
You received your results, now what?
Once the sleep apnea test is concluded, you will receive your results. If you have a confirmed case of sleep apnea, you may be wondering what happens next.
After your sleep apnea test results are in, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for treatment. In addition, lifestyle changes—such as drinking or smoking less and adopting healthier eating habits—and potential medical interventions to help you manage your sleep apnea.