If you’re undertaking a home sleep study, you might be provided with an ApneaLink Sleep Test. This is a small yet powerful device that makes home sleep testing easy by monitoring and recording various habits, providing a reference point for technicians to then assess the patient’s sleep for any potential disorders.
Not only is it easy to use, but you’ll have the support of Manse Medical’s qualified technicians, who are experts in the field of sleep studies. The end result will be a simple test that will help you get one step closer towards a good night’s sleep.
What is an ApneaLink Test?
An ApneaLink Test is a study that is conducted using a small device known as an ApneaLink, a cost-efficient, type III home sleep testing device capable of recording up to five channels of information:
- respiratory effort
- oxygen saturation
- nasal flow
This information is then surveyed by sleep technicians in order to aid with the diagnosis of disorders – namely Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The ApneaLink is known for providing performance and reliability alongside a compact, lightweight and easy to use build.
Its use, combined with AirView, streamline the sleep apnea treatment process, making it easy for patients to get diagnosed and treated.
What are the features of the ApneaLink Test?
One of the reasons that the ApneaLink Test is such an effective tool for Home Sleep Tests is that it manages to fit a wealth of features inside a small device, such as a;
- Nasal cannula attached to a pressure transducer to measure air flow and snoring
- A respiratory effort belt
- A pulse oximeter to measure pulse and oxygen saturation
- An actigraphy monitor to measure total sleep time (TST), etc.
In the rest of this article, we’re going to go over all of the different features that the ApneaLink provides in order to ensure a comprehensive and effective home sleep test.
- ApneaLink Air works seamlessly with AirView, a cloud based data storage platform, to provide a comprehensive diagnostic software solution, empowering sleep labs to efficiently manage each step of the testing process.
- ApneaLink Air differentiates between obstructive and central apneas, as well as Cheyne-Stokes respiration probability detection.
- By streamlining access to apnea treatment, the device reduces the time between a patient undertaking the test and receiving their results.
- Analysis parameters allow for easy adjustment of thresholds, resulting in a test that effectively assesses the patient’s sleeping habits without error.
- Designed to make home testing easy, the one-touch stop/start operation and completion light make it clear to patients when evaluation begins and ends.
- Sleep technicians are provided with a clear diagnosis and effective reports that meet American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) definitions for hypopnea scoring guidelines.
- Includes body positioning calculation to determine Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) when supine, lateralg, prone and upright.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea (measured by the ApneaLink) is a disorder in which breathing is irregular, frequently stopping and starting. Common symptoms include:
- Loud snoring when trying to sleep
- Episodes in which a patient stops breathing during their sleep
- Sleep affected by insomnia, etc.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can be potentially life threatening, affecting more than just one’s capacity to sleep or whether or not they are snoring. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a higher risk of severe health conditions such as;
- High blood pressure/hypertension
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor memory and lack of concentration
- Moodiness, depression and personality change
- Low sex drive and impotence in men
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when an obstruction blocks part of or all of a patient’s upper airway while they sleep. As a result, their diaphragm and chest muscles have to work harder to open their airway and pull air into their lungs. When this happens, the patient’s breath can become very shallow, to the point where they may even stop breathing briefly. They usually start to breathe again with a loud gasp, snort, or body jerk. This disrupts their sleep, which can have significant consequences in the long term if unaddressed. The condition can also lower the flow of oxygen to the organs and cause uneven heart rhythms.
Common symptoms include:
- Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
- Headaches in the morning
- Trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, depression, or crankiness
- Night sweats
- Restlessness during sleep
- Low sex drive
- Waking up suddenly and feeling like you’re gasping or choking
- Trouble getting up in the mornings
- Waking up often in the middle of the night to pee
- High blood pressure
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
What is Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)?
Central sleep apnea is when a patient regularly stops breathing while they sleep because their brain doesn’t tell their muscles to take in air. It’s different from obstructive sleep apnea, in which there is a physical obstruction that affects the patient’s breathing. However, it is possible to have a condition in which one is affected by both CSA and OSA, called mixed sleep apnea.
CSA usually develops due to a serious illness, especially if the lower brain stem is impacted as it controls breathing.
The main symptom of CSA is pauses in breathing. It usually doesn’t cause snoring, the way OSA does. Other symptoms include:
- Being very tired during the day
- Waking up often during the night
- Having headaches in the early morning
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory and mood problems
- Not being able to exercise as much as usual
What are Home Sleep Studies?
A home sleep test is a test conducted inside the patient’s home in order to monitor their sleeping patterns and diagnose potential disorders. The test is performed by the patient using specific testing equipment provided by a clinic, the results of which are then assessed by experts to determine the presence of any disorders.
What are Attended Level 1 Sleep Studies?
Attended Level 1 Sleep Studies are the alternative to Level 2 Home Sleep Tests (such as those that use the ApneaLink). They are conducted on site, in a clinic or a hospital specified by Manse Medical, and they involve a technician to be present in order to monitor your sleeping habits in real time.
This is typically selected in the event that your doctor decides that your potential disorder cannot be effectively monitored with a home study. Attended Level 1 Sleep Studies are typically more comprehensive than Home Sleep Studies, as they involve the measurement of more sleep related variables.
Does Medicare reimburse at home sleep studies?
There are many different “levels” of home sleep tests accessible through the medicare benefits schedule. The most common, typically performed by pharmacies, is a Level-3 examination which has limited channels for recording EEG, focusing mainly on breathing and oxygen levels. Level-4 studies typically only record breathing and oxygen saturation. These limited channel home sleep tests tend to dramatically under-diagnose sleep disorders and have a relatively high failure rate.
The following carries an MBS fee with a billing restriction of 1 service patient in a 12-month period.
Unattended Sleep Study (Item 12250)
This medicare benefits schedule item is an overnight diagnostic examination to confirm the diagnosis of OSA, ideal for less complex patients with suspected OSA.
In order to access this item, the patient requires one of the following:
- A medical referral to a qualified adult sleep medicine practitioner or consultant respiratory physician where approved assessment tools indicate a high probability for moderate to severe OSA
- A professional attendance (face-to-face or via telehealth) with a qualified adult sleep medicine practitioner or consultant respiratory physician to confirm necessity for test, irrespective of questionnaire results