The days are longer now that there are distractions at home that keep you away from your sleep. Aside from working the entire day, you still find the time to keep yourself updated on your various social media accounts before calling it a day. At times, you can get too engrossed and forget the hours passing by. It’s no wonder that sleep deprivation is fast becoming a medical issue because more and more people don’t mind losing sleep because of their #FOMO.
Meanwhile, there are other conditions that leave you sleep-deprived that aren’t actually of your own doing. These are sleep disorders that mess up your sleep-wake cycle that often persists for years if not treated. Other times, it can be a breathing issue that disrupts sleep and even put your health and life at risk such as sleep apnea. You actually need to get tested to find out for sure if you really have sleep apnea although most people now generally assume that you have it if you are a loud snorer.
Chronic cases of sleep apnea can lead to health problems including high blood pressure, heart issues, and even type 2 diabetes.
It can be difficult to diagnose sleep apnea as there is no blood test to identify the condition. Doctors usually can’t detect the condition during routine office visits either due to its relatively subtle symptoms. However, a newly developed diagnostic device aims to change this. A recent clinical trial has found a way to effectively detect sleep apnea across all severity level.
Sleep apnea is characterized by frequent nighttime awakenings. A patient may even experience hundreds of these episodes in a single night. The most common type of sleep apnea is the obstructive variant, which is due to the airway collapsing or becoming blocked during sleep.
Not all snorers have sleep apnea, though. It is why you should get yourself tested right away to confirm such a diagnosis.
However, diagnosing sleep apnea may become a lot easier. A new, disposable patch has proven to effectively detect the condition from the comfort of your own home.
“Our study provided clinical validation of a new wearable device for diagnosing sleep apnea. It was most surprising to us how well this inexpensive miniature device performed in comparison with in-lab sleep studies,” said principal investigator Maria Merchant, CEO of Somnarus Inc.
You can do this at various clinics that have sprouted all over the country these days. The catch here is that you have to sleep in these sleep labs overnight so the sleep technician can assess you properly. Fortunately, recent innovations have introduced sleep apnea test kits that you can use at home by yourself. You save a lot of money doing this because you no longer have to pay for the center, the test itself, and the technician who will conduct the sleep test.
Sleep centers receive between $500 to $600 for an in-lab test; home sleep tests only bring in around $150 to $230. A 2015 economic analysis of sleep apnea testing showed that providers actually lost money on at-home sleep tests.
And the amount insurance companies will pay for any kind of sleep test — especially in-lab testing — has been going down over time, said Glenn Becker, the CEO and president of the International Institute of Sleep, a Florida-based sleep clinic group.
“Eight years ago, our fee schedule was 45 percent higher. Over the last eight years, they have totally crushed our fee schedule. They’re making it very very hard.”
“I’m not against home sleep testing,” Becker said. “But as far as [home sleep tests] are concerned, I think they should be strictly be used in cases when someone can’t get to a facility or is homebound or in emergency cases.”
Others try to shrug off the issue of sleep apnea rationalizing that it is one of those discomforts in life you just have to deal with. But that way of thinking no longer works now since we know more about its perils. While there is really no single solution that can address it, there are various management options that can at least reduce the symptoms without necessarily going under the knife.
It’s why you need to get tested as soon as you can to be able to start treatment right away. And if you aren’t comfortable with the thought of sleeping in some sterile sleep lab with people watching your every move, try these at-home sleep apnea test kits that does the job without costing as much.