Sleep Apnoea Testing
Nearly 3 million Australians have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. Yet, 80% remain undiagnosed
In the long-term, poor quality sleep can lead to serious health complications, including weight gain, increased blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
In Australia it’s estimated around 15% of adults who fail to get sufficient shut eye are living with a chronic sleep disorder known as ‘sleep apnoea’. Sleep apnoea occurs when the walls of the throat come together during sleep and block off the upper airway. This leads to a halt in breathing (usually for a few seconds, although in severe cases it can last longer), until the brain recognises its lack of oxygen and signals to wake the person up.
Breathing then returns to normal as oxygen levels regulate. Each pause in breathing is called an ‘apnoea’. It’s not uncommon for someone with sleep apnoea to snore loudly as the body gasps for oxygen. Many people living with sleep apnoea are often unaware of their condition.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Fast Facts:
of people with high blood pressure have Obtrusive Sleep Apnoea.
of people with type 2 diabetes have sleep apnoea
greater risk of a person with Sleep Apnoea to of having
a car accident
of people who are obese also have Sleep Aponea
Health Check Procedure
Sleep apnoea can be diagnosed with an overnight at-home sleep test called a ‘polysomnogram’ or ‘sleep study’. You can hire the appropriate equipment to perform the test at home; the machine will monitor your blood oxygen levels, brain activity, heart rate, and breathing.
The results are uploaded from the testing device and emailed to a sleep specialist (a doctor) who makes the diagnosis. In some cases, the patient may be required to visit a sleep specialist for more tests. Your Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist can also give you advice on managing the condition and making improvements to your sleep quality.
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Tips & Advice
Discuss a treatment plan with your healthcare professional.
Manage your weight through appropriate diet and exercise
Quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake.
Avoid the use of sedatives or sleeping tablets.
Create a “sleep routine” to give your body sleep cues.
A sleep apnoea test can be done in the comfort of your own home; visit our friendly experts at your local Blooms The Chemist.
Many people with sleep apnoea are unaware they have this condition; an at-home sleep test can provide further insights into your sleep health.
Head of Retail and Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist, Burwood
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
Signs of sleep apnoea can include:
• Daytime sleepiness
• Loud snoring
• Waking up abruptly short of breath
• Mood changes
If you are unsure if this could be you, take our online sleep test to determine if you are eligible for a overnight take home sleep test.
Why do I have sleep apnea?
There are a number of factors that increase the risk of developing sleep apnoea. These include:
1. Having a smaller or narrowed airway
2. Excessive weight
3. Smoking and alcohol
6. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
How do you test for sleep apnea?
There are two ways you can be tested for sleep apnoea:
1. An overnight laboratory or hospital sleep tests
2. An overnight at home sleep test, in the comfort of your own bed.
Blooms The Chemist offers the overnight home sleep test. Visit a participating Blooms The Chemist pharmacy to discuss testing and to pick up the sleep test machine. You will be fitted for the machine by a trained team member, who will show you how to operate the testing machine at home.
What is involved in a sleep apnea test?
Our overnight home sleep test involves a device being attached to your body with sensors that monitor your sleep, breathing patterns, pulse oximetry and pauses in breathing. When you wake up in the morning, turn the device off, remove the sensors and return the device to the pharmacy.
How long do the results take?
Allow 7 - 14 days for the results to come back from the sleep specialist and we will contact you immediately with the results.
Understanding sleep apnea test results
One key indicator of sleep apnoea is the AHI (Apnoea Hypopnea Index) which is the number of apnoea recorded during the study per hour of sleep. Another key indicator is your oxygen saturation levels which shows the level of oxygen in your blood while you are asleep. A sleep apnoea trained team member will go through all of this information with you so that you understand exactly what the sleep test results mean.
Are the results a conclusive diagnosis?
Once you have completed a full night sleep of at least four hours, return the device to the pharmacy. A team member will download the data and send it to our sleep specialist doctors for review. Once the store receives your results, you will be contacted immediately to go through your report and to explain the results. If you have sleep apnoea, the results will explain the severity of your sleep apnoea and recommended treatment options. Usually treatment involves trialling or purchasing a CPAP machine, mask and accessories which will help you have a better night sleep and improve your quality of life.