Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital now offers patients the convenient option of having sleep apnea testing done in the comforts of their own home. Affecting an estimated 18 million Americans, sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep.
A person with sleep apnea may struggle for breath while lying in bed, and may find themselves exhausted during the day. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when air cannot feely flow into or out of the mouth or nose. In addition, sleep apnea is linked to congestive heart failure, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, stroke and diabetes.
“During an apnea the upper airway relaxes during sleep and it interferes with the ability to breathe,” said Dr. Linda Chan, a pulmonologist on staff at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. People with sleep apnea tend to snore and occasionally snort and gasp for breath when their airway is blocked.”
An estimated 80 percent of sleep apnea patients remain undiagnosed. Many of these patients may go unidentified because they have anxiety about going to a sleep lab. Some find it bothersome or feel inconvenienced. By offering at-home sleep apnea tests, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital makes sleep testing more convenient.
“Sleep apnea has a direct connection to overall health,” Chan said. “This new option will hopefully encourage more patients to get the test done instead of putting it off. We can help improve health outcomes if we diagnose sleep apnea early before other health conditions appear.”
Home sleep tests use a simple device that you take home and wear to bed. You then bring the device back the next day for it to be evaluated by the medical staff. Within a week the report will then be sent to your primary care physician and then treatment options will be evaluated.
Home sleep tests are not for everyone. They are not appropriate for patients with pulmonary disease, neuromuscular disease, congestive heart failure, or patients suspected of having other sleep disorders.
Refer to a sleep specialist for a comprehensive evaluation if you suspect sleep apnea. Call 1-800-3-ADVOCATE (1-800-323-8622) or visit www.advocatehealth.com for more information.