Is Home Sleep Testing For Me?
Posted by amykr on March 25, 2009
Home sleep testing has been very controversial over the last year. The idea of home sleep is can be threatening to a lab. This is not the case. I believe that this type of testing is perfect for those patients who refuse to come in to a sleep lab, a person who has no insurance or a large deductable, or the person who is in an area where there is a long wait.
The home sleep equipment we use is the Respironics Stardust. With this equipment we monitor your breathing, your snoring, your oxygen level, your heart rate and your body position. What we are not able to test is if you are asleep and what stage of sleep you are in, whether you grind your teeth or move your legs or if you have heart problems.
The nice thing for those with no insurance is that it will cost about half of what a full sleep study costs. Many companies will even give you a slight discount if you pay up front.
If you are found to have sleep apnea there are several ways it can be handled. The most common and probably the most accurate is to come into a sleep lab and have a titration study performed. This will allow you to have someone who will find the best pressure of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. It will also allow a trained technician to help you choose a mask that works for you. The added benefit is that all the things you missed testing in the home sleep test will be tested with the titration study. Other options such as Auto titrating CPAP can be used as a way of titrating a person but they are not always available at every facility. Surgical solutions and Oral appliances are offered by some physicians. I will write about these options in a follow up article.
As our economy changes healthcare will have to change as well. This type of innovation allows more people to have tests that might not have been able to afford testing otherwise. As we move forward I am sure there are more innovations coming up. I am excited to see and share new technology as it becomes available.
Amy Korn-Reavis, RRT, RPSGT has been in the respiratory field for over twenty years. She has worked in all areas and is currently focusing on sleep and how to help the community feel better by sleeping better. She is the manager of Emery Sleep Solutions an independent testing facility located in Apopka, Florida. She is also the coordinator of A.W.A.K.E. Orlando a support group for people with sleep disorders http://awakeorlando.ning.com. If you have any questions about sleep or are looking for someone to speak at your community function she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org