Before looking any information of tests for sleep apnea we need to understand alittle bit about sleep apnea. Apnea is derived from a Greek word and means cessation of breath. Sleep Apnea is the obstruction of the air passage preventing the free flow of air. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is usually associated with daytime weariness, dryness of mouth, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, mood swings, insomnia, nocturia and gasping or choking for breath.
Tests for sleep apnea procedures
The tests for sleep apnea involve a physical examination of the nose, throat, uvula and the palate. A medical history that includes details of the patient sleep quality, sleep patterns, disturbances if any and the like, is collected. A sleep recording is done to record and monitor the patient breathing while he is asleep. The most common sleep recording technique is the Polysomnogram or PSG.
There are two types of polysomnography as a tests for sleep apnea. An overnight test involves monitoring of brain activity, eye movement, breathing patterns, heart beat rate and percentage of oxygen in the blood. This is usually done in a diagnostic center or hospital where the person sleeps overnight. Another tests for sleep apnea called the home monitoring test can also be performed. Here a technician connects all the electrodes to the patient and instructs him on using a polysomnograh to monitor his sleep. This is usually painless.
A respiratory disturbance index (RDI) is then calculated. It is expressed as the number of abnormal respiratory events in an hour. A value above 20 (which is the threshold limit) indicates that the person must be advocated with CPAP treatment. A multiple sleep latency test is done to assess daytime sleepiness. An average person needs more than 10 minutes to fall asleep during the day. If the level falls below 5 then it is considered abnormal and the person requires immediate attention.
A sleep strip can also be used to test sleep apnea. This is typically a screener and it has a threshold limit. A value greater than or equal to 16 means the person needs to undergo the polysomnography test. These tests for sleep apnea prove give results that to be important in the treatment of sleep apnea.