How reliable are home sleep studies?
If your symptoms and risk factors signify sleep apnea, your doctor recommends an at-home sleep apnea test. It is also known as polysomnography or sleep study. The major advantage is that it can finish at your bed’s convenience.
This sleep monitoring test includes spending the entire night at your own home. It helps maintain vital functions like heart rate, oxygen level, breathing pattern, etc. Laboratory-based sleep tests usually require the patient to use numerous wires, sensors, and electrodes. Let us find out how correct are home-sleep studies.
Do Home Sleep Apnea Tests Work? How Accurate Are They?
As per NHSA project reports, nearly 25 million adults in the USA suffer from OSA. This type of sleep disorder can result in serious health issues when ignored for long. So, diagnosis at the earliest is vital.
HSATs do not measure actual sleep. Therefore, the results can be negative. Since no technician is present, the test fails to measure the lymph movements or sleep cycles at night time. It means at-home tests are less accurate. They don’t accurately determine every case of sleep apnea. This can be dangerous if you have another health condition or do a risky job.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has initiated guidelines for diagnosing sleep apnea in adults. Both home sleep apnea and laboratory polysomnography tests were suitable diagnosis techniques. As per one multi-center study (of 264 patients), home sleep apnea testing got a 72% accuracy rating, unlike in-lab testing.
The Process Involved in Home Sleep Test and Study
There are many types of HSATs available today. Every test uses an oximeter to determine drops in blood oxygenation. This may occur due to apnea or hypopneas. They are more comfortable and affordable. At-home apnea tests also allow monitoring you in a natural sleep environment.
It gives clinicians real-world sleep information. It includes noise, blankets, bedding, temperature variation, pillows, and light. The sleep apnea assessment is done through telemedicine, depending on your case.
Usually, this includes a remote consultation via telephone or online with an expert sleep specialist to find whether HSAT is appropriate for you. The sleep center delivers the test kit to the doorstep during an at-home sleep apnea test. The kit comes with all the instructions.
The doctor will provide you with a portable breathing monitor kit. During testing, stick to your regular bedtime routine and follow the instructions in the kit. Most at-home sleep apnea kits are simple to put up. They usually include the following:
- A nasal pipe for measuring the flow of air and oxygen.
- A finger clip for computing the heart rate and levels of oxygen.
- Sensors or tracking the variation of the chest.
You will complete the assessment within one to three nights of sleep. After finishing the test, a certified physician will analyze your outcome. Then, the expert will explain the treatment options available.
Advantages of At-Home Sleep Test
Below are the pros of HSATs:
- Quicker Outcome
Using a portable breathing monitor during testing at home provides a much faster outcome, unlike in-lab testing.
These tests are much more convenient because patients can stick to their nightly routine. It offers a correct reading of your breathing while you sleep.
- Readily Available
At-home tests are much friendlier for those far away from the sleep apnea center. It’s because the center can send the monitor even in the email.
Is it a Costly Process?
At-home tests are usually inexpensive as compared to laboratory tests. In most cases, insurance covers it. HSATs are nearly 21% of the price of in-lab testing.
At-home sleep study does not require you to spend the entire night in a laboratory. They are a perfect alternative to traditional sleep studies.
Contact Sleep Center Now to Get Help for Your Sleep Disorder
Completing sleep apnea testing at home is much easier than wearing a tiny device on the fingertip. But as you know, obstructive sleep apnea patients usually breathe via their mouths.
So, this may result in incorrect signals. Also, a self-administered diagnosing device may get loose on the finger at night. To know more, contact our sleep center near you today!