What’s new in sleep apnea diagnosis?

Over the last few years, new technology has been aiding in the treatment and diagnosis of sleep apnea by making the journey faster and more accessible. Some of the latest developments include home sleep tests, that can assess sleep apnea and other sleep disorders without the need to visit a sleep lab or clinic.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders and is marked by abnormal breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea have multiple extended pauses in breath when they sleep. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s supply of oxygen.

Sleep apnea can affect children and adults and people of both sexes, although it is more common in men. Sleep apnea poses dangers to health and wellbeing. The stress of sleep deprivation and weight gain can cause heightened blood sugar putting people at risk of diabetes and the low oxygen levels can put unnecessary strain on the heart, leading to high blood pressure which can cause a stroke.

Sleep apnea symptoms:

● Episodes of gasping, snorting or choking during sleep
● Excessive daytime fatigue
● A regular need to nap during the day
● A dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
● Rapid weight gain or difficulty in losing weight

How to get a sleep apnea diagnosis

Sleep apnea is treatable, with very effective treatment options available, but an initial challenge is getting a diagnosis. Traditionally, patients would be required to spend a night being monitored in a clinic or hospital, so access and cost can be a barrier for people.

This is where home sleep tests are very beneficial, and a new category of home sleep tests has recently been offering further advantages to patients. Using a unique technology, known as Peripheral Arterial Tonometry (PAT), new test devices are now able to measure a range of information using only a small sensor on the patient’s finger. They require no visits to the lab as they can be easily set up by patients themselves, at home.

The information recorded (including body movement, heart rate and the amount of oxygen in the blood) is then analysed to calculate metrics such as Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI), oxygen saturation and total sleep time. Not only does this make the process much faster, just a few days, but it can be done using a fully disposal device, which can be discarded as soon as the test is finished.

AVAILABLE NOW: SiSU Health presents the NightOwl® home sleep test

At SiSU we’re all about helping people live healthier lives and good sleep is essential for good health. That is why SiSU has partnered with NightOwl® to bring our SiSU members, one of only two home sleep devices available in the world that use a unique sensor, able to measure a range of sleep information while taped to your finger. This clinically validated device is used in the comfort of your own home, with no need to visit a sleep laboratory!

The Nightowl® Home Sleep Test is now available for Australian customers to purchase via our online store.

We recommend you seek professional help if you suspect you might be suffering from sleep apnea.