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Most people don't even realize they have sleep apnea, but you're more likely to have it if you're diabetic, overweight, have high blood pressure or have a heart rhythm disturbance called atrial fibrillation.
If your bed partner says you snore, snort, gasp, choke or stop breathing during sleep, you may have sleep apnea. A sleep study is needed to make an accurate diagnosis, but if you suspect you have a sleep disorder, talk to your doctor.
If your doctor suspects you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, he or she may prescribe a sleep study in one of our sleep labs. You'll typically arrive at the sleep lab in the early evening and leave the next morning. We provide a natural sleeping environment with hotel-like accommodations, so you'll have your own comfortable, private room.
The sleep study, also called a polysomnogram, records brain activity, eye movement, oxygen and carbon dioxide blood levels, heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and rhythm, the flow of air through your mouth and nose, snoring, body muscle movements, and chest and belly movement. The results are used to determine if you have one or more of the 80 sleep disorders that can interfere with your good night's sleep.
If moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed during the sleep study, we often recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) study. During this study, you're fitted with a nasal mask or a full-face mask that covers both your nose and mouth and is connected by a flexible tube to a small air compressor. The machine's fan gently pushes air through the tube, into the mask and down the back of your throat. The pressure level on the CPAP machine is started low and is gradually increased to find the right level of air pressure that will prevent the collapse of your airway during sleep.
If your sleep doctor orders a CPAP device, staff at our Legacy Good Samaritan location can help you rent or purchase this equipment and provide ongoing support as you adjust to CPAP therapy. Our Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Program accepts many insurance plans. Call 503-413-7543.