Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious disorder that can lead to devastating medical problems including heart attacks and stroke, even death. As a means of creating awareness and giving back to the community, Carolina Sleep Solutions offers free screenings and consultations to those persons who feel they may have a sleep disorder breathing problem.

Who Is At Risk?

If you have any of the following signs, contact us for a free consultation:

  • You snore
  • Wake up gasping for air
  • Have excessive daytime sleepiness

Free Sleep Apnea Consultation

If your screening indicates a significant risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, we will recommend a sleep test, which can be completed either at home or in a laboratory setting. Home sleep tests are simple and the fee is fairly nominal.

We will also ask you to complete a detailed questionnaire that includes your sleep and medical history and other information that aids in the assessment of your sleep disorder breathing problem including Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Once we receive the results of your sleep test and you have completed your questionnaire, we are happy to schedule your free consultation.

The consultation appointment is at no charge to you. During this appointment, we will review the data from your sleep test and your questionnaire, do a cursory airway examination and discuss treatment options.

Home Sleep Test

The home sleep test involves the patient wearing a portable device during sleeping hours. While simple, the test provides valuable information about your breathing, snoring, oxygen levels during sleep, and sleep apnea events.

Dr. Van Gurp and a board certified sleep physician will review the data from your home sleep test. The sleep physician is licensed to make an applicable diagnosis and a recommendation as to whether treatment is indicated. If further medical consultation is necessary because of an advanced or serious medical condition, Dr. Van Gurp will make the appropriate referral to a local board certified sleep physician.

Once the sleep physician has made a diagnosis, Dr. Van Gurp and the sleep physician will help you decide the best treatment options based on your test results.

In-lab Sleep Study vs. Home Sleep Test

Sleep tests completed in a sleep laboratory are monitored by medical professionals (typically sleep technicians). Because of the extensive equipment typically used in a sleep laboratory, many different bodily systems and signals can be monitored than can be done with a portable unit used for the home sleep study. The additional information gained can help with diagnosis.

There are disadvantages to the sleep test conducted in the sleep laboratory. Some consider it inconvenient as you are sleeping away from home at a strange location and in a strange bed. As a result, the patient may have a less than typical night’s sleep, which some purport will skew the data. The costs of a sleep test conducted in a sleep laboratory are generally much higher than that completed with a portable unit at home.

About the Home Sleep Test

In 2009, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (the principal clinical group for health issues related to sleep) approved the usage of portable sleep testing devices for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea.

As the name implies, the Home Sleep Test (HST) is given to the patient to take and use in the comforts of their own home and in their own bed. Along with patient convenience, the cost is generally much less and data is collected based on a more typical night’s sleep.

The disadvantage to Home Sleep Testing (HST) is that less data is collected than that from a sleep test conducted in a sleep laboratory, which in certain cases may affect the accuracy of diagnosis.

Choosing Which is Best For You

Along with your physician, Carolina Sleep Solutions will advise you as to which type of sleep test is most appropriate. If you have symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) but no other medical or sleep concerns, a Home Sleep Test (HST) may be your best option. On the other hand, if you have a complicated medical history and sleep issues, you may be better suited for a sleep test conducted in a sleep laboratory.

704.746.3160 Carolina Sleep Solutions
3111 Springbank Lane, Suite F2
Charlotte, NC 28226