CPAP Therapy

OSA Diagnostics: How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

OSA Diagnostics

How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Diagnosis starts with your family physician.

There are a number of factors that contribute to poor sleep and it is important to have a thorough medical assessment, which will typically include:

  • Completing an Epworth Sleepiness Questionnaire
  • Screening for Sleep Apnea using a portable monitoring device, or a simple pulse oximeter that fits over your finger, both are designed for use in the comfort of your own bed at home.
  • A full sleep study (polysomnography) conducted in a hospital-based sleep disorder clinic.

Ask us about our Level 3 Sleep Apnea Testing Program.

Level 3 Sleep Apnea Testing

Overnight PSG study can be intrusive, costly, and requires the involvement of both a technician and an interpretative sleep specialist. Portable sleep apnea diagnostic devices provide an alternative to PSG. These devices use unobserved monitoring in the home.

Level Three Sleep Apnea Testing Device records the following signals and measurements:

Video on how to perform an Apnealink Sleep Study:

What is a Polysomnogram (PSG) or Level-1 Sleep Study?

Sleep disorders are complex medical conditions. If your physician suspects that you have sleep apnea, or another sleep disorder, they may refer you to a hospital or private sleep disorders clinic. You will first receive a consultation with Physicians who specialize in Sleep Medicine and they will assess your symptoms and determine whether you are a candidate for a full sleep study. If so, you will be scheduled to sleep in the sleep lab to conduct an overnight study. During this time you will be tested using Polysomnogram (PSG), which includes an evaluation of sleep staging, airflow and ventilatory effort, arterial oxygen saturation, electrocardiogram, body position, and periodic limb movements.

Severity Scale of Sleep Apnea

The results of a sleep apnea test will show both the type of sleep apnea, and provide a number of measures of its severity.

The Apnea Index (AHI) is the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour.

  • Normal is AHI 0-4 events per hour
  • Mild 5-15 events per hour
  • Moderate 15-29 events per hour
  • Severe 30+ events per hour

The degree and frequency of oxygen desaturations may also be an important parameter to measure to assess risk. Particularly in patients who are compromised with other underlying respiratory and/or cardiovascular conditions.