Snoring is a sign of possible sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can lead to fatigue, trouble with memory, trouble concentrating, higher blood pressure and uncontrolled blood sugars to name just a few. We are learning more and more about sleep apnea and one thing that we do know is that it can kill.
The easiest way to know if you have sleep apnea is to do a sleep apnea screening. This can be done in the comfort of your own home, free of charge (for the actual test). If the screening indicates that there is possible sleep apnea present, then a home sleep test can be done. Most insurances are approving this test as it is significantly cheaper, and more comfortable for the patient. Home sleep tests are just that…. you sleep at home, in your own bed while data is recorded on a device that fits like a baseball cap. Sometimes the screening process can be skipped if exam and history support it as well as exploring questions like: Would you tend to fall asleep while siting and reading? Watching TV? Sitting, inactive, in a public place? As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break? Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit? Sitting and talking to someone? Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol? In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic? And what I consider a significant indicator of sleep apnea—Dozing or falling asleep while driving!!
Other factors certainly come into play such as if you already have a diagnosis of high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, stroke, restless legs at night and/or morning headaches. And not to forget the occasional elbow jab from your bed partner for snoring. Consider also if you and your bed partner are no longer sleeping in the same bed, or for that matter, the same room due to one of you snoring.
Don’t let ongoing sleep apnea disrupt your health, life and relationships. Call us at 573-777-4700 to talk to us about the screening procedure. If you have already discussed possible sleep apnea with your primary care provider, have them send us an order for the home sleep test and we can do that too. You do not have to wait months to get this test done, we can do it in a matter of days.