If you think that you’re suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, you’ll need to confirm it through a proper diagnosis.
There are a couple of different ways to test for OSA. One is a polysomnography, or an overnight sleep study in a hospital or clinic. However, there are a few challenges with this type of exam:
- The cost. By definition, it’s an overnight hospital stay, which means it’s inherently expensive.
- The time away from home. Depending on what you do for a living – particularly if you travel frequently – trying to get your schedule aligned so that you can be home long enough to do it can be challenging.
- The quality of the results. A traditional polysomnography involves attaching electrodes to different parts of the body, particularly the head. And some folks have trouble sleeping in a bed that isn’t their own. Put it all together, and you might have trouble falling asleep well enough to get useful results.
Fortunately, digital technology has improved in recent years to the point that it’s now possible to conduct a sleep study remotely from the comfort of your own bed, without the need to spend the night at a clinic.
There are several solutions on the market today. Here’s information about the SleepImage, the at-home sleep study technology that Dr. Krish has selected for her patients.
The SleepImage device is a ring that fits securely on your finger or thumb. It contains several sensors that collect a range of health data, including your pulse, blood pressure and oxygen levels.
You’ll pick up the ring from our office and take it home. Before you go to bed, you’ll need to install the SleepImage app on your iPhone or Android device, and pair the app with the ring using Bluetooth. The data captured by the ring overnight will be transmitted to the app. That data is then passed along to a board-certified sleep doctor, who will send their findings and analysis to Dr. Krish. And there’s one additional benefit: unlike a traditional polysomnography, which only captures data for a single night, you’ll wear the SleepImage ring three nights in a row. Gathering triple the amount of data will provide a much more detailed portrait of your overall sleep behavior, and provide us with much richer data to really understand what is going on with you during the night.
At this point, the advantages of the at-home sleep study should be obvious. However, it doesn’t test for symptoms for other conditions, such as heart failure, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), or lung disease. So if Dr. Krish encounters signs that you might be suffering from an issue not readily detectable in the sleep study ring results, she’ll send you out for a conventional sleep study in a lab. Similarly, if imaging or physical exams indicate some sort of severe air blockage, she’ll refer you to an appropriate specialist for further exams.
In short: if you’re pretty sure you’re suffering from moderate or even severe sleep apnea, look into an at-home sleep study. It’s affordable and convenient.