Usually, a family doctor will refer their patient to a physician who specializes in sleep disorders medicine. The first diagnostic step is to undergo a physical examination and provide a medical history. Routinely, the second step is to complete a questionnaire that focuses on the patient's sleep hygiene or habits and the associated signs and symptoms they are experiencing. Lastly, a sleep study is conducted, either at home or in a sleep disorders centre.
A sleep study is a test usually done at night using electronic equipment that records the sleeping brain activity, monitors breathing and how well the body rests. This is also known as polysomnography. The data that is collected is analyzed by the sleep specialist and a diagnosis is made.
Consequences of Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Left untreated, Obstructive Sleep Apnea may lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and cognitive loss. Undiagnosed people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea may also be at a higher risk for work-related accidents and motor vehicle accidents.