When one is asleep, the body’s muscles, which include the chest and throat muscles that help in breathing, relax. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop involuntarily as individuals sleep. The disorder may cause individuals to wake up with a dry mouth or headache or even feeling tired. It may also cause serious health issues, including stroke and heart disease. A good way to determine if you’re having trouble breathing is to carry out an at-home sleep apnea test.
This test involves the use of a breathing monitor, which is worn and used to track an individual’s breathing effort, oxygen levels and breathing. However, it doesn’t record everything that’s monitored in an overnight sleep study. An overnight sleep study offers a thorough assessment of sleep problems. The study usually takes place at a sleep center, which has a sleep technologist present to capture signals such as leg movements, muscle tone and brain waves for sleep.
Individuals who have specific neuromuscular, breathing or heart problems may be better suited for an overnight sleep study.
Johns Hopkins Sleep Medicine Program clinical director Susheel P. Patil states that individuals who gasp, snort or snore; are obese or overweight; and are sleepy during the day may benefit from an at-home sleep apnea test. However, individuals are advised to discuss their options with their clinical provider before conducting any tests.
So what should one know about the at-home sleep tests?
- It doesn’t rule out sleep apnea
Unlike at a lab where a physician monitors you, at-home tests may be inaccurate as sensors may fall off during the night.
- It is convenient.
In comparison to a sleep study at a clinic, at-home sleep tests are less expensive and are used for only a night.
- It detects breathing patterns using sensors.
These sensors include a probe placed over an individual’s finger to measure oxygen levels as well as other sensors that are placed on one’s chest and abdomen to measure the rise and fall as they breathe.
- It needs to be prescribed.
Your physician needs to prescribe the test as it’s not an over-the-counter test.
- They don’t monitor sleep.
From the name, one may assume that these tests monitor an individual’s sleep. However, this isn’t the case, as the sleep test monitors breathing parameters, which will be used to assess whether an individual suffers from sleep apnea. These breathing parameters include the effort it takes to breathe and whether an individual’s breathing is shallow.
To ensure you get accurate results from the test, it’s best to sleep on your side. This is because sleep apnea is usually worse when individuals lie on their backs. Once you get a definitive diagnosis of sleep apnea, don’t despair. There are a number of products and treatments developed by companies such as Vivos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VVOS), which can help you on your journey to recovery if you have mild or moderate OSA.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Vivos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VVOS) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/VVOS
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