How Often Should My Sleep Apnea Therapy Be Evaluated?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder which can lead to deadly cardiovascular disease. Those suffering from the condition experience up to hundreds of episodes without oxygen every night as a result of partial or complete airway obstruction during the night.
Sleep apnea is diagnosed by patient history along with reported symptoms. Some sleep apnea cases should be evaluated through a sleep study that is performed by specialists in a special sleep laboratory. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea after your study, your doctor will likely suggest continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP therapy, with a prescribed pressure setting needed to keep your airway patent. This pressure setting is assigned to a numeric value in atmospheric pressure. Most patients fall between pressure levels of six and fourteen centimeters of water.
Will My Treatment Need to Re-evaluated?
The rule of thumb is to have a new sleep study performed, or at least an appointment to review your CPAP therapy every two to five years. You should see your physician before this time if you’ve had any major health changes, have lost or gained weight, or if your sleep apnea symptoms have returned.
Changes to Your Therapy
After another evaluation of your sleep apnea treatment, your physician may lower your pressure setting if your sleep apnea has improved or raise the setting if it’s worsened. If some cases, your physician may suggest moving your treatment to an APAP machine. APAP therapy, also known as automatic positive airway pressure therapy, works much like a CPAP machine but uses sensitive algorithms to detect subtle changes in your breathing.
Sleep apnea is an evolving health condition. Consider using a “smart” CPAP machine such ResMed’s AirSense 10 to monitor your treatment. These machines can submit information to your smartphone or to your physician so that a second sleep study may not be needed for small changes in therapy. Have questions about your sleep apnea treatment? Contact us at Advanced Sleep Therapy. We’ve got a passionate team of registered nurses, physicians, and respiratory therapists standing ready to ensure that you’re getting the best treatment possible.