Sleep apnea patients diagnosed from their beds

At-home devices monitor airflow, respiratory effort, oxygen levels, pulse rate

By Kristi Krueger - Anchor/Health Reporter , Ben Candea

WESTON, Fla. - High-tech sleep labs are the gold standard for diagnosing sleep problems, but going through the process can be time consuming, uncomfortable, and costly.

"Some patients are good candidates for a home sleep study, which can be very comfortable having the study done in your own bed," said Dr. Laurence Smolley with Cleveland Clinic Florida.

If a doctor believes a patient is suffering from sleep apnea and has no other major underlying health conditions, a portable home sleep study device can make a perfect fit.

Dominick Carissimi decided to try one after his wife complained about his constant snoring.

"I'm trying to help her out and at the same time, figure out what's going on with myself," he said.

Sleep apnea can affect overall health and function.

"Sleep apnea can cause a certain kind of sleep deprivation," said Smolley. "Then, the person will have trouble concentrating during the day, may be moody, depressed, [or] difficultly coping just from the poor sleep."

The at-home devices monitor airflow, respiratory effort, oxygen levels, and pulse rate.

"It seems fairly simple, straightforward, and I have the convenience to call it a night and then wake up in the morning just like it's part of the regular routine," said Carissimi. " I don't have to drive across town to take part in the clinic overnight and all that inconvenience."

After one night, the device is returned to the hospital so doctors can determine if a patient suffers from sleep apnea.

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