How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
The sleep apnea assessment form along with a clinical evaluation will provide a guide for your risk of OSA. If sleep apnea is suspected, overnight tests are then ordered to evaluate whether you experience apneas during the night, which are associated with drop in blood oxygen levels. The sleep apnea tests are typically scored by specially trained professionals who have the expertise to understand the meaning of the sleep data gathered, and then interpreted by physicians to ascertain your correct diagnosis. Typically your Sleep Doctor will explain your results to you and help you understand if you have sleep apnea, and if so, whether it is mild, moderate or severe. They will normally recommend CPAP therapy if required.
How Sleepy Are You?
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a scale intended to measure daytime sleepiness that is measured by use of a very short questionnaire.
In Canada, Sleep Tests to diagnose OSA can be conducted in Sleep Labs, hospitals or homes. Three common types of studies are available:
- Level I Sleep Study (Polysomnogram) is available in a Sleep Lab or Hospital and consists of supervised overnight monitoring of breathing, physical movements, brain wave activity and many other parameters.
- Level 2 Sleep Study is conducted in your home. The device records PAT (Peripheral Arterial Tone) Oximetry Actigraphy, Heart Rate, Body Position, Snoring your Respiratory Disturbance, Apnea Hypopnea and other parameters during the night.
- Level 3 Sleep Study is conducted in your home. The device records your oxygen levels, heart rate, airflow, snoring and other parameters during the night.
- Level 4 refers to OSA Screening with oximetry, which measures blood oxygen levels; this test may also include measures of airflow.
If level 1 is not readily available LEVEL 2 is highly recommended we strongly advise that you request this at the time of your initial consultation as many facilities do not offer this service due to the expense of the equipment.