Many have heard of sleep apnea or suspect they or someone in their home may have it because they sleep poorly or snore. The nature and diagnosis of sleep apnea is actually far more complex, making diagnostic tests for sleep apnea essential.
Sleep Apnea is associated with many health problems, ranging from congestive heart failure to high blood pressure -- with the associated consequences of sleep deprivation, including depression and even car accidents.
The risk of sleep apnea increases as weight increases, so with the increasing epidemic of obesity sleep apnea has become a major health issue for many Americans. Fortunately, once diagnosed, there are ways to treat sleep apnea depending on the cause. Because different causes require different treatments, ranging from sleeping masks to throat surgery, it is important for sleep apnea and its causes to be properly diagnosed.
Currently, the only formal diagnostic test for sleep apnea is for a sleep specialist to perform a sleep study.
These are typically performed in a “sleep lab” where various aspects of sleep can be monitored. Occasionally, though, because of inconvenience of the inability to sleep adequately in a sleep lab, a partial sleep study might be performed at home. Specifically, a sleep specialist might choose to monitor breathing, vital signs, or other sleep metrics to try and get some information.
Because sleep apnea puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease, Everlywell offers a Cardiovascular panel that measures various markers that sleep apnea can impact. Specifically, the panel assesses cholesterol, blood sugar--via average blood sugar (HbA1c), and inflammation via High-sensitivity c-reactive protein (hsCRP). Everlywell also offers a blood test for inflammation (a panel focused on inflammation and vitamin D, a key nutrient/hormone related to sunlight exposure), as well as a sleep test that monitors cortisol and melatonin, the key hormones of stress and sleep respectively, throughout the day.
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