Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Detecting Sleep Apnea

Home Sleep Study-Ares Unit

If Dr. Stummer determines that you are a likely sufferer of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, he will suggest that you do a home sleep test. The test is simple. You wear a headband on your head and small tubes near your nose, turn it on and go to sleep. The unit measures snoring, breathing or lack thereof, oxygen in the bloodstream, movement etc. If it falls off, it ever talks to you. The advantages to this test are many, the main one being that you can sleep in your own bed.

After you return the unit to Dr. Stummer’s office, the data is read into a computer and sent to a lab for analysis. A report is sent and that is reviewed with the patient to determine if apnea is an issue and how severe it is. If the case is severe, Dr. Stummer will refer the patient to a sleep lab. If the diagnosis is mild to moderate, the patient has the option of using an appliance or a CPAP.

Laboratory Sleep Study – Polysomnography

A polysomnography (PSG) test is the ‘gold standard’ for the diagnosis of many sleep disorders, including OSA and CSA. This test has been used since the 1970’s for the diagnosis of OSA. PSG’s are performed in a sleep lab and are continuously monitored by a PSG technician.

A PSG is a 16-channel recording of the biophysiological changes that occur during sleep. It monitors: Brain activity (EEG), eye movement (EOG), muscle activity (EMG), heart rhythm (ECG) as well as oxygen saturation, air volume from the mouth and nose, chest effort and abdominal effort.

Studies are interpreted by a pulmonologist or sleep specialist and are then forwarded back to the primary care physician with the specialist’s diagnosis and recommendation. The raw data is saved as a digital copy by the monitoring equipment and can be forwarded back to the PCP or dentist. A Sleep Report is sent with a summary of the night including apnea indexes, REM statistics, oxygen saturation statistics, sleep stage information and arousal index. (See the protocol section for a sample sleep report.)

PSG reports vary slightly depending on the lab and the interpreting physician. PSG reports will also provide details on sleep staging and times, REM statistics, CPAP pressures (during titration) Apnea index’s and oxygen saturation statistics. There are three major types of sleep studies performed in the lab; Diagnostic PSG, Split-Night and CPAP Titration.

sleep problems    sleep apnea diagnosis