What tests are needed for diagnosing OSA?

In-home sleep test (Cardiorespiratory Polygraphy): A professional installs the testing equipment in the comfort of your home, and it measures your pulse, blood oxygen level, airflow and breathing patterns, and body position among other aspects of the sleep process. In some cases, a person who is being monitored at home may show a false negative diagnosis. For example, the cause might be disrupted sleep. That is because of insomnia related to sleeping with the equipment in unusual conditions; they do not sleep that night; therefore, no apnoeas are found. Under these circumstances, the data collected might show “normal” results while the patient indeed has a sleep problem.

The definitive diagnosis (gold standard test) can be made with Nocturnal polysomnography: At the Sleep Clinic, the patient stays to sleep in a comfortable, safe room, resembling a home environment at the sleep laboratory. While sleeping, the patient is connected to a machine (polysomnograph) that records various data related to sleep, cardiac, respiratory, cerebral and muscular activity. For this, a technician places some sensors in different parts of the patient’s body while they lie down to sleep, and the necessary data for the diagnosis is recorded. This helps the doctor diagnose apnoea (obstructive, central, hypopnea, or airway resistance). But, to be honest, this test is costly and not very comfortable, and the accuracy is comparable to the in-home sleep test.

Whenever polysomnography or any other test needs to be performed, we have the best specialists to evaluate your clinical case and the need for the corresponding studies.

It is essential to clearly establish OSA to identify if it will be needed to refer the patient to the appropriate specialist (e.g., otolaryngologist, dentist, pulmonologist, neurologist, or sleep medicine specialist).

Dr. Carlos Echeverria

Dr. Carlos Echeverria

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