What is a Sleep Apnea Clinic?
For people who are suffering from sleep apnea symptoms, there is a awfully good chance that you will be referred to a Sleep Apnea Clinic or Sleep Lab at some point in time. That is nothing to be scared of. In-fact, this article will try to explain everything to you so you can be well informed with what may take place once you arrive.
Sleep Apnea Clinics help patients who suffer from sleep apnea which is commonly known as obstructive sleep apnea. These clinics are usually managed by a board certified sleep physician, although you may also find one managed by a pulmonologist doctor. These clinics are very useful in determining a proper diagnosis of a patient, and the severity of their sleep apnea symptoms, and especially what the next steps are that should be taken to treat the sleeping disorder.
Within a sleep apnea clinic, you will usually find some respiratory therapists, these people might be there to assist patients who have documented sleep apnea, and they specifically might help with use CPAP equipment. CPAP equipment is the most common treatment device used to treat the sleep apnea symptoms, and it takes some personalized care for patients to be informed an instructed on how to use it properly. A good Respiratory Therapist will be able to demonstrate to a new patient the use of CPAP, and then that patient will be able to return home knowing exactly how to use the sleep apnea machine. For new patients, be sure to take as much time as possible understanding and learning how to use CPAP therapy, it is very useful, but you should have all your questions answered on how to use it before you leave the sleep apnea clinic.
Meeting the Sleep Doctor
If you are on of the lucky individuals, you might be able to have a full appointment with the sleep doctor who owns/runs the sleep clinic. This is a person who is trained in diagnosing sleeping disorders and will be able to answer any questions that you have regarding the severity of your sleeping problems, and treatment options. Be sure to ask this person all the questions that you have. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea are not very well known amongst internal medicine doctors and Family Medicine doctors, so this would be your chance to talk with a sleep specialist and you should. This sleep doctor might be the person who is going to prescribe that you have a formal sleep study which is known as a PSG test or Overnight Sleep Study. This is conducted usually within the sleep lab environment, and it takes 1 or 2 days. If you believe that you are just a casual snoring patient, you might want to consider having a thorough investigation into your symptoms from this doctor before signing up for the full sleep study which can be extremely costly.