How accurate are home sleep apnea tests?
Seeing a sleep doctor will help you determine whether or not a home sleep apnea test is a good fit for your specific situation or not.
Your physician will decide which is more appropriate and then your specific test must be approved by the insurance company before you can proceed with a sleep study.
In this article, we will discuss some of the facts to know about how home sleep studies work and how accurate they are.
One of the advantages of taking a home sleep apnea test is that you are able to perform the study in your own bed following typical nighttime routines. While you are encouraged to bring a pillow from home for sleep studies performed in a lab it won’t feel like your bedroom!
How Do They Work?
If your doctor suggests a home study, a device is either sent home with the patient or sent through the mail.
Home sleep apnea tests use sensors like a probe on your finger to measure oxygen, and a mask with tubes similar to an oxygen mask, as well as additional sensors on your midsection and chest.
An in-lab sleep test will monitor many things but it is important to understand that the home tests will only monitor your breathing rather than also measuring how long you are in a light or deep sleep.
The home test results are sent to your doctor for review. In rare circumstances, your doctor may want you to come in for a study in a sleep lab if the home test results are inconclusive.
Home tests are not quite as accurate since a physician isn’t there to monitor you if a sensor should become displaced while you are sleeping. There are other sleep disorders besides sleep apnea that an at-home test may not register, but an in-lab test may. It is important to be evaluated by a physician so they can recommend the best test for your specific symptoms.
Some patients will opt to try the at-home test before committing to the cost and procedure involved with an in-lab study since there is a convenience factor as well as generally being lower cost.
If you have completed a sleep study, been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and you’d like an alternative to CPAP give us a call.
Leave a Reply