Diagnosis

The first step in diagnosing sleep-disordered breathing or sleep apnea is a consultation with your primary care doctor, which includes a thorough sleep history and physical exam.  If a more detailed assessment is needed, you may be recommended for an overnight sleep study (polysomnogram), the most definitive of tests. During the course of this study, a patient’s brainwaves, heartbeat, respiratory effort, airflow, eye movement, blood oxygen levels and breathing are recorded.  Another sleep test, the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT), may be performed to assess the severity of daytime sleepiness. In addition to your PCP, pulmonologists, neurologists, or other physicians with specialty training in sleep disorders may be by consulted to confirm the diagnosis.