The snoring is persistent and your nights are restless, and the niggling thought that yourself or your loved one is suffering from sleep apnea is controlling your thoughts. However, what’s concerning you more is; what do you do about these thoughts; how does a person become diagnosed with sleep apnea, and how do you determine if they need a CPAP machine?
In this article, we take you through the entire process of being diagnosed with sleep apnea, how the prescription of a CPAP machine is determined, and we dispel any concerns you may have about the sleep apnea testing method.
Identify possible symptoms
Before you seek advice from any medical professionals, it is worth understanding what the symptoms of sleep apnea are. The following is a general list of symptoms most sleep apnea patients suffer from:
· Loud and persistent snoring
· Waking up unable to breathe, choking or gasping
· Restless nights
· Feeling a lack of energy during the day, sleeplessness and the feeling of needing to sleep through regular activities
· Headaches in the morning
· Changes in your mood, concentration, and memory
Make an appointment with your GP
Once you take the steps to address your sleep concerns, the first step to receiving a diagnosis and treatment is to see your local GP. In your consultation, your GP will assess your symptoms and determine whether an appointment with a sleep specialist is best for you. To see a sleep specialist, you will require a current referral from your doctor, who can also advise you of sleep clinics in your area.
Complete a sleep test
Your specialist sleep doctor will investigate your symptoms through a series of methods. This may involve a more detailed analysis of your medical history and your current lifestyle choices, so it’s important you have these details on hand.
Your specialist will more than likely set you up with a sleep test; a Polysomnography (PSG) is the most likely test you will receive, which records your sleep patterns during a normal evening, which can be administered within the clinic, or through a take-home test kit.
Follow your treatment plan
Once your specialist has conducted the required tests you need, they will evaluate the results and prescribe you a treatment plan specific to your needs. Whilst most people assume they will be issued with a CPAP machine, this may not necessarily be right for you. Therefore, it is important to follow the recommendations of the specialist.