Coming To Terms With Sleep Apnea Test

It is probable that health risks are already endangering the health of a person with sleep apnea; a diagnosis is in order. One can start with a self-administered sleep apnea test at home. Seeking medical help from sleep specialists or visiting sleep centers for more tests, validation and treatment are the next steps if symptoms are all there.

By answering certain questions in a home-based, self-help sleep apnea test, one can hypothesize if one has the disorder. Answering the test may require the assistance of some family members because the patient is always ignorant what happens in one's sleep. The value, though, of self-administered test cannot be discounted. Based on the results of home-administered test, Medicare now pays for the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine for sleep apnea patients who are senior citizens. This was initiated by the government based on the findings that about 18 million Americans are have sleep apnea but only about half is aware of their predicament.
Medical diagnosis of sleep apnea is an expensive process and this forms another basis for the US government's stepping in the Medicare provisions. Polysomnogram or sleep study is the sleep apnea tests done in sleep centers and by sleep specialists. It has many components that electronically transmits and records physical activities in sleep. These data are evaluated by qualified sleep specialists to confirm suspicions or to recommend other allied tests to narrow down specific underlying reasons.

The principal tests that determine the possible underlying causes are EMG (electromyogram) to record muscle activity such as face twitches, teeth grinding and leg movements and to monitor REM sleep, and EEG (electroencephalogram) to measure and record brain wave activity. EOG (electro-oculogram) measures and records eye movements during REM sleep which can usher intense dreams as the brain enters phases of vigorous activity. These eye movements have different sleep stages, particularly REM stage sleep. The other sleep apnea tests are the Snore microphone to record snoring activity; Nasal airflow sensor to record airflow; and the ECG (electrocardiogram) which records the heart beat and rhythm.

A sleep apnea test is useful whether it is self-administered or medically-supervised. Knowing if one has the disorder is the first order of treatment.

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