Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that affects millions of Americans every day, and it is estimated that millions more go undiagnosed. Part of the issue is that many people are unaware of how sleep apnea is diagnosed.
The first thing that you will want to do if you think you may have sleep apnea is to let your primary care doctor know. He or she will probably recommend that you keep a sleep journal to start the process of diagnosing it. In the sleep journal, you will keep track of when you go to sleep, when you wake up, the amount of times you wake up during the night, if you snore, and how sleepy you feel throughout the day. It can sometimes be hard to know if you snore or gasp for air at night, so our WeHo dentist recommends enlisting the help of a sleep partner or family member. You will also most likely receive a physical examination in which your medical provider will check your mouth, throat, nose, and soft palate to see what may be causing the obstruction. After this process has fully completed, and if your provider thinks you may have sleep apnea, then a sleep study will be ordered.
The only way to obtain a definitive sleep apnea diagnosis is by undergoing a sleep study at a sleep lab. During the study, you will go to sleep like normal, but you will be hooked up to a machine that will record your blood pressure, brain activity, heart rate, oxygen intake, chest movements, and other measurements that will help break down your sleeping patterns. Using this test, known as a polysomnogram, our expert in sleep apnea in West Hollywood will arrive at your diagnosis.