Should I See a Sleep Specialist for My Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
If you’ve been snoring at night, are waking up more exhausted than you have in the past, or are experiencing high blood pressure and weight gain, you may have sleep apnea. Though the symptoms vary greatly from person to person, any of the above may indicate a need to see your physician about the disorder. Sleep apnea is a medical condition noted by periods without breath during the night. These moments are known as episodes of apnea and can lead to serious cardiovascular disease, memory problems, and secondary illnesses like diabetes. When it’s time to seek medical treatment for your symptoms, you may be wondering who to see. Go straight to a sleep specialist or visit your general physician first?
What’s a Sleep Specialist?
While a primary care provider is usually well-rounded in most common medical conditions, a sleep specialist is specially accredited by organizations such as the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine. These organizations ensure that the applying physicians are qualified to treat sleep disorders. These physicians may specialize in internal medicine, pulmonology, neurology, otolaryngology, and more.
Getting a Definitive Diagnosis
The best diagnosis of sleep apnea is made in a sleep study laboratory. There a team of sleep specialists record sleeping activity, including number of apnea episodes throughout the nights. A sleep study is the only way to get a definitive diagnosis for sleep apnea.
What About My Primary Care Physician?
Your primary care provider may be able to diagnose your sleep apnea before requiring a sleep study. They’ll take a look at your health history, the health history of your family, and your symptoms in order to decide whether or not you need to see a sleep specialist. If your symptoms are complex, you’ve got other health conditions, or he or she isn’t able to make a concrete diagnosis, your primary care provider may ask that you see a sleep specialist. In some cases, your insurance provider may require that you see your general physician before making an appointment with a sleep specialist.
When it’s time to choose a sleep specialist to see, choose a team of medical professionals who are dedicated to the promotion of your health. Our team at Advanced Sleep Therapy is made up of specialized physicians, registered nurses, and respiratory therapists. We’ve built a practice upon our passion for fostering health through better sleep. We’ll help you get from symptomatic sleep apnea to the best sleep, and health, of your life.