Sleep Apnea Testing is Convenient and Inexpensive
Posted: February 21, 2020
If you’re plagued with daytime fatigue, snoring, morning headaches, and decreased sexual desire, you may have sleep apnea. For diagnosis, your physician will give you a sleep apnea test to determine whether you have sleep apnea, which type of sleep apnea you have, and how severe your sleep apnea is. There are several different tests for sleep apnea, with technological advances making this process easier every day. For example, we now offer you the ability to order a disposable sleep apnea test online easily and inexpensively.
The Prevalence of Sleep Apnea
Approximately 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. However, an estimated 80% of those with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea go undiagnosed. Untreated sleep apnea can have major impacts on your health and lead to other serious conditions. For example, those with sleep apnea are at a higher risk for high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, and strokes. Additionally, sleep apnea has been linked to type 2 diabetes, depression, and low libido. Another important issue to note is that it can lead to traffic and heavy machinery accidents due to the poor sleep quality that sufferers endure when untreated.
Therefore, sleep apnea can cause many undesirable health and lifestyle outcomes. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airways narrow, causing you to stop breathing during the night. Central sleep apnea is where your brain fails to signal your muscles to breathe. By contrast, complex sleep apnea, also known as mixed sleep apnea, is where a patient has both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There are many symptoms of sleep apnea, including:
- Loud snoring
- Choking or gasping sounds during sleep
- Daytime fatigue
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Morning headaches
- Nocturia (waking up frequently to urinate)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Low libido
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to visit your sleep apnea clinic for help. Sleep apnea is a serious health issue. Luckily, this condition is easily treatable and sleep apnea treatment can help reduce your symptoms, improve your overall health, and reduce the risk for related health complications.
While sleep apnea can affect anyone, there are a few factors that put you at a higher risk for developing sleep apnea. For example, obstructive sleep apnea typically affects men over 40 years of age. To simplify the diagnosis process, physicians developed a short questionnaire to identify patients who are most at risk for sleep apnea. This is called the STOP-BANG test.
Sleep Apnea Questionnaire: The STOP-BANG
STOP-BANG tests allow your doctor to assess your risk for sleep apnea. This is a one to two minute test that you can fill out for your physician to determine the likelihood of you having sleep apnea.
STOP-BANG is an acronym that stands for risk factors of sleep apnea. These include:
- Observed apnea
- High Blood Pressure
- Neck Circumference
Each of these components of the STOP-BANG helps your doctor evaluate your risk factors for sleep apnea. This is a quick, convenient way for physicians to assess the chance that you are suffering from sleep apnea. Higher scores on your STOP-BANG test indicate a higher probability of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. A high score generally means you should take a sleep apnea test to determine if you have sleep apnea.
The High Cost and Wait Time for Sleep Lab Tests
In the past, suspected sleep apnea sufferers had to take a polysomnography test for a sleep apnea diagnosis. These tests include sleeping in a lab hooked up to various instruments while a sleep technician watches you sleep. Many people are uncomfortable with this situation, which may lead to them avoiding the test and ignoring their undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea. Additionally, sleep labs are often overcrowded, meaning it can take months to get a sleep study appointment.
Polysomnography tests are also quite expensive. While the cost of polysomnography varies based on numerous factors, they can be anywhere from $600 to $6,000 or more. This estimate doesn’t even include other common fees, like the cost of your initial consultation. Because of the long wait times and high cost of polysomnography, many people may simply forego the test and live with untreated sleep apnea.
However, our physicians understand the need for simple, convenient, and inexpensive sleep apnea test options. Especially due to the large amount of people living with untreated sleep apnea. Fortunately, recent technological advances make sleep apnea tests simple, disposable, cost-effective, and even allow you to take the test in the comfort of your own bed.
Advances in Home Sleep Apnea Test
Because of the high prevalence of sleep apnea and the dangers of untreated sleep apnea, as well as the cost and limited capacity in sleep lab studies, we understand the need for simple sleep apnea tests that make it easier for sleep apnea sufferers to receive diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, we now offer a sleep apnea test that makes diagnosis fast and easy for our patients. The WatchPAT home sleep test offers you a convenient, inexpensive, accurate, and easy-to-use way to receive a sleep apnea diagnosis. We understand how important your time is, which is why we make sleep apnea testing, diagnosis, and treatment as easy and as fast as possible for you.
The WatchPAT is lightweight and disposable, which means there is no need to return the device. Additionally, there is no risk of infection, as it comes to you brand new and fully ready to use. You don’t need to clean or charge your WatchPAT sleep apnea test. You simply put it on, wear it for the night, and dispose of it the next morning.
What makes this option even more convenient is that we offer you the option to order it online, from the comfort of your own home. It arrives within 1-2 days via FedEx so you can start your test quickly. In addition, this test automatically transmits data to our certified sleep doctor within approximately 1 minute after you complete the test. Therefore, you can receive your sleep apnea test results in as little as two days.
Another great reason to choose the WatchPAT sleep apnea test is that it is inexpensive. Our self-pay rate for the WatchPAT is $159, and we also accept most medical insurances. Compared to a traditional polysomnography in a sleep lab, this is significantly more affordable. This price also includes a comprehensive men’s health assessment after your test to discuss your results, overall wellness, health goals, and to go over your treatment options. From there, your physician will create a customized treatment plan based on your lifestyle.
You may be wondering whether a home sleep apnea test is reliable. Rest assured that the WatchPAT sleep apnea test has a 90% correlation rate to polysomnography results for sleep apnea. This home sleep apnea test option is accurate, with a less than 1% failure rate during data acquisition. Additionally, technological advances allow the device to analyze your true sleep time for more precise results. During your test, the WatchPAT will monitor:
- Heart rate
- Peripheral arterial tonometry (PAT)
- Oximetry (or blood oxygen levels)
- Actigraphy (levels of body activity)
- Body position
- Chest motion
These seven points of review allows for reliable sleep apnea diagnosis without a sleep lab study.
Easy to Use
Finally, the WatchPAT sleep apnea test device is easy to use. Once you receive your sleep test, you simply wear the device for a minimum of 4 hours while you sleep. Your disposable home sleep apnea test includes a watch-like device, a pulse oximeter for your finger, and a neck sticker. These are easy to attach and are small and lightweight. Therefore, it won’t interrupt your nighttime activities. After you have successfully placed your device on your wrist, finger, and neck, you just follow your normal routine and go to sleep in your own bed. When you wake up in the morning, your device will automatically send your sleep data to our physicians and you can dispose of the device.
How To Get Your Home Sleep Apnea Test
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, there are a few different options to take your sleep apnea test. For an expedited sleep apnea diagnosis and CPAP fitting, you can take our sleep apnea preliminary test, including the STOP-BANG test, to determine whether you are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Then, you can order your WatchPAT, which you will receive via FedEx within 1-2 days. When it’s convenient, wear your sleep apnea test for one night and come into our sleep apnea clinic to discuss your results, get fitted with a CPAP device if it’s part of your customized sleep apnea treatment plan, and receive a comprehensive men’s health assessment. This health assessment includes a full blood panel. At no extra cost, you will return for a follow up appointment to discuss the results of your health assessment and blood test.
Another option we offer is to come in for a sleep appointment, which includes a comprehensive health assessment and blood panel. Then, you can order your WatchPAT sleep apnea test, receive it within 1-2 days, and wear it at your convenience. Afterwards, come in for a follow up sleep appointment at least one day after your sleep apnea test for an overview of your results and to get fitted with a CPAP device if medically appropriate.
We want to ensure that our options are as convenient as possible so you can optimize your health without interrupting your life. Therefore, we work with you to find the best solution for your sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. Your sleep doctor will create a customized treatment plan based on your lifestyle to better your overall health and keep you going strong.
If you’re ready to take action regarding your sleep apnea symptoms, order your home sleep test and make an online appointment with Low T Center today. Our physicians provide holistic, accessible men’s healthcare to help you feel your best. Together, we can help you manage your sleep health and enjoy the effects of high quality sleep.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.