Diagnostic Sleep Studies for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
It may have been suggested that you have a sleep study done to determine if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, OSA.
OSA is a condition where partial or complete obstruction of your airway during sleep causes lack of Oxygen reaching the brain and all other parts of the body.
OSA is usually free of any symptoms except a degree of tiredness and lack of energy.
It is a serious health risk and, in its own right, can be fatal. It is more common to affect you by causing high blood pressure, higher risk of heart attack or stroke, diabetes, dementia, reduced cognitive function, risk of motor vehicle accidents or industrial accidents, reduced work or study performance, depression, insomnia, restless legs, erectile dysfunction and loss of libido amongst many other problems.
All this and most people are totally unaware they have a problem.
How is it tested?
- A Polysomnography (PSG) is a Sleep Unit based test where you stay in over-night hooked up to numerous monitors that look at the various indicators of OSA.
- A Home Sleep Test. There are several levels of home sleep testing, most of which only give an indication of the need for more thorough sleep testing. Type 3 and 4 Home Sleep Tests simply tell us you need more information as occurs in a Type 2 HST or a PSG.
The actual diagnosis of OSA can legally only be made by a Sleep Physician having seen the results of a Type 2 HST or PSG.
To have a PSG performed, there are a number of steps required and it can mean months waiting for a result.
The process involves:-
- Appointment at Future Dental where we identify obvious risk factors and have you fill out a questionnaire.
- Referral to see your GP Doctor to organise a referral to a Sleep Physician.
- Consultation to see the Sleep Physician.
- The Sleep Physician arranges the Polysomnography through the Sleep Unit in a hospital setting.
- The sleep test or PSG with your over-night stay at the sleep unit.
- Delay for a number of weeks before the results are returned to the Sleep Physician and then an appointment to see either the Sleep Physician or your Family GP Doctor.
As you can see, the process is a bit convoluted and drags on often for quite a few months.
A Type 2 Home Sleep Study is a far simpler and quicker process and virtually all the parameters measured in a PSG are also measured in a HST. The benefit is that it can be done in the familiarity of your own home.
We provide you with a special kit to take home with a detailed instruction booklet demonstrating clearly how to set yourself up with the various sensors. You return it to us the next morning where we download the results and have it reported by Sleep Physician to determine the diagnosis.
The steps for a Type 2 HST are :-
- Appointment at Future Dental where we identify obvious risk factors and take a few measurements ourselves including weight, height and neck circumference and have you fill out a questionnaire.
- Same day or another that suits for you to do the HST at home, we provide the kit and the instructions.
- You return the kit the next day with your brief description of the night’s sleep, and we download the results and email the data to a Sleep Centre.
- The sleep centre arranges their own GP to assess the questionnaire and our measurements taken to determine if any of the cost of the HST can be claimed under Medicare. Most often it can.
- The Sleep Unit’s own Sleep Physician analyses the data and gives the formal diagnosis of the absence or presence of OSA, it’s severity, suggested treatment outcomes and sends the report back to us usually in about 2 weeks.
- Visit back to Future Dental to discuss the findings.
This saves a number of steps and many months and gives you the same result as if you had the PSG done.
There is a fee for this at Future Dental of usually about $200 but this is far lower than the over-all fees for the different services of the GP, Sleep Physician, Over-night hospital stay in the sleep unit and the return to your GP or Sleep Specialist.
Once the results are at hand, Dr Gibbins will advise as to treatment options.