Home Sleep Studies
Used for diagnosing sleep conditions, a home sleep study is a sleep test that doesn’t have to be administered in a sleep lab. Apnea can only be properly diagnosed with specialized equipment, but oftentimes patients are unaware of their own nighttime cessations of breathing. But the ability to administer a sleep apnea test at home gives both single and married people further ability to test where they stand on the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), and get an easy diagnosis.
Dependence on lab tests also contributed to long delays for sleep-apnea diagnoses, but fortunately, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services determined in 2008 that home sleep tests are accurate enough to provide a diagnosis, when made along with supervision by a treating physician. They have recently become more available as a comfortable alternative to lab studies in which patients needed to spend time away from their home.
Generally, sleep tests measure brain waves, eye movements, heart rate, and respiration by wearing an additional chest band. These, combined in a home sleep study, allow a doctor to diagnose patients along with providing anecdotal evidence from patients and loved ones experiencing the symptoms of sleep apnea or other sleeping conditions. Home sleep apnea tests are most often used when physicians are fairly certain a patient already has sleep apnea, and just wants to measure the patient’s apnea-hypopnea index. While often, lab-produced polysomnogram results can be more accurate and reported more quickly, a home sleep study is also the cheaper option — while a polysomnogram costs as much as $3,500, a home sleep test costs roughly $800.
The apnea-hypopnea index is the most important measurement that comes from home sleep studies. It will tell you how often your breathing stops for longer than 10 seconds (an apnea), and how often your breathing is constricted for the same period (a hypopnea). If you’re taking a sleep apnea test at home, you’ll receive an AHI number as part of your diagnosis. The results show the number of apneas and hypopneas a sleeper experiences per hour. A mild case of apnea usually has a range of 5-15, while 15-30 is moderate apnea, and over 30 is severe.
For New Yorkers looking for a sleep apnea test in NYC or Manhattan, at home sleep study results have been proven reliable enough to diagnose sleep apnea. Test in NYC for maximum convenience in case you need to schedule return visits for consultations and other fixes. Treatments for severe apnea are a remedy for serious sinus problems when first line defenses fail. If you get a prescription from a doctor on Manhattan, at home sleep study patients will find they rarely need to go out of their way for a good night’s sleep.