About Sleeping Disorders
Sleep is a beneficial and essential process in order to function properly
on a daily basis. According to the National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke, an estimated 40 million people in the United States
suffer from sleep disorders each year and an additional 20 million people
experience occasional sleep problems. Sleep disorders involve any difficulties
related to sleeping, including: difficulty falling or staying asleep,
falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive sleep time, or abnormal
sleep behaviors. In most cases, sleep disorders can be easily managed
once they are properly diagnosed. There are many different sleep disorders.
However, one of the most frequently occurring is due to disturbed sleep
also know as sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common forms of abnormal sleep
breathing. It is a common disorder in which you have pauses in breathing
while you sleep. An estimated 18 million people in the United States are
affected by this condition and it can lead to serious complications if
left untreated. Sleep apnea is usually a chronic (ongoing) condition that
disrupts your sleeping patterns. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause a variety
of complications, such as: high blood pressure and other cardiovascular
disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Fortunately,
sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated.
One of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea is loud and chronic
snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Another common sign is choking
or gasping for air during sleep. Other symptoms may include:
- Morning headaches
- Memory or learning problems, not being able to concentrate
- Feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings or personality changes
- Urination at night
- A dry throat when you wake up
Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing or have experienced these symptoms.
Who's At Risk
Below are some of the risk factors for sleep apnea that may prompt you
or your doctor to request a home sleep study:
- Tobacco use
- High blood pressure
- Family history
- Narrowed airway or increased neck circumference
- Older Age
Risk Associated with Undiagnosed Sleep Apena
Obstructive Sleep Apnea can aggravate high blood pressure and diabetes.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can significantly increase your risk for:
- Cardiovascular events such as angina, heart attacks and heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Erectile dysfunction
Most people with apnea remain undiagnosed because apnea happens while sleeping.
A physician can order a sleep test to confirm a suspected case of Obstructive
How We Can Help
Sleep health is a vital component of your overall wellbeing. The physicians
and staff at Torrance Memorial Physician Network provide our patients
with the opportunity to understand and treat their ailing sleep problems,
such as Sleep Apnea.
Sleep Apnea Testing from the Comfort of Your Own Home
If you or your physician suspect symptoms or signs of obstructive sleep
apnea, we can perform overnight sleep study evaluations in the comfort
of your own home and arrange for treatment if sleep apnea is discovered.
This test can replace the need for sleeping in a sleep lab for most patients.
The system can be used for up to three nights to collect sleep data, including:
- Respiratory events (apneas and hypopneas)
- Snoring intensity
- Blood oxygen saturation
- Pulse rate
- Respiratory effort
Benefits of home Sleep Apnea testing:
- Convenience-can test in the comfort of your own home
- Accurate-uses 3 nights of information to eliminate errors from poor night sleep
- Cost effective-eliminates need for technician to monitor test overnight
What to Expect
Home sleep studies for Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA) are a convenient alternative
to having the tests performed in a sleep lab setting.
With home sleep testing, the device is sent directly to the patient's
location. The test is self-administered, which allows for greater privacy
and comfort than typically found in a sleep lab. Home sleep tests are
a clinically accurate and cost-effective way to diagnose a potentially
NovaSom Diagnostic System, is a full-service home testing system cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration for diagnostic evaluation of adults with possible OSA.
The device fits on a bedside table and is used for three nights to collect
sleep data including respiratory events, snoring intensity, blood oxygen
saturation, pulse rate and respiratory effort.
After three nights of use, the patient returns the device. Since OSA has
night-to-night variations, collecting data over three nights helps ensure
an accurate diagnosis.
How to Schedule a Test
Sleep Apnea testing must be referred by your primary care physician.