LAPORTE | Indiana University Health La Porte Sleep Services now offers in-home testing for sleep apnea.
At least 40 million adult Americans suffer from sleep disorders. However, it is estimated nearly 85 percent of those individuals remain undiagnosed or untreated.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder involving abnormal pauses in breathing or extreme shallow breathing during sleep. These respiratory disruptions can last 10 seconds to a few minutes, and may occur multiple times within a rest period. Usually, when normal breathing resumes, the sleeper will snort or snore loudly. Other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
• Excessive sleepiness
• Loud snoring
• Awakening with dry mouth or sore throat
• Morning headache
• Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
• High blood pressure
• Uncontrolled diabetes
The home sleep test is a device used to diagnose sleep apnea in the comfort of one’s home. The test measures breathing patterns, heart rate and oxygen levels during the night. In addition, the home test is significantly cheaper than traditional overnight testing in a sleep center, and is covered by most insurance plans with some plans covering in-home testing only.
Mindi Whittaker, a registered sleep technologist, recommended the home test to those looking for a more comfortable, convenient option. “If you’re snoring at night so loudly that you wake your partner, if you wake suddenly in the night due to shortness of breath or if you nearly fall asleep during work, watching TV or even driving,” Whittaker said, “we highly encourage you to talk to your doctor about a home sleep apnea test.”
Interested individuals should request the home sleep apnea test with a primary care physician. There is no wait time, and the test can be picked up at IU Health La Porte Sleep Services by appointment only. Staff will provide complete guidance and instructions. Individuals may drop off the test to the office the next day. Each test is reviewed by a physician with results forwarded to the primary care doctor within seven to 10 business days.
“Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea affect so many different areas of your health,” Whittaker said. “Sleep apnea, especially, puts a lot of stress on your heart because your heart has to work that much harder to get the oxygen flowing properly again.”
Upon diagnosis, IU Health La Porte Sleep Services assist patients into proper treatment. While treatment varies for each patient, sleep apnea usually requires usage of a CPAP machine to keep the airway open and allow for normal breathing patterns during sleep.
For more information or to make an appointment to pick up an in-home sleep apnea test, call 219.325.4633.