Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a breathing problem that occurs when we sleep. The upper airway keeps blocking, partially or totally, because the tongue and upper muscles in the throat relax, causing an obstruction in breathing (apnea) lasting over 10 seconds. This obstruction or pause in breathing occurs repeatedly throughout the night. The pauses are followed by gasping, snoring and/or restlessness.
During normal sleep (A) , the muscles that control your tongue and soft palate hold the airway open. If these muscles relax, your airway will become narrower (B) and the soft or floppy part of the throat vibrates; the noise of snoring results. If your throat is already narrow, or the muscles relax too much, your airway can become completely blocked (C), which prevents breathing.
Left untreated, OSA is associated with a decreased quality of life as it may cause excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue, morning headaches, but also because it is related to serious medical conditions such as heart diseases. The good news is, there is treatment for OSA and our trained professionals can help. So, follow your GP’s recommendation and get tested!
A home-based sleep study is a non-invasive recording of your sleep for the diagnosis and evaluation of sleep disorder that is performed while you sleep at home overnight.
Your doctor has assessed your symptoms, medical history and conditions and has considered it necessary that an investigation for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) be performed.
At your appointment, we will introduce you to our program and complete a medical questionnaire. We will then explain you how to fit the sleep study equipment. We will provide you with all necessary equipment and accessories to take home. The portable equipment will record your brain activity, cardiac activity, breathing, breathing effort, oxygen saturation, and body position. This information paints a clear picture of your sleep quality which the sleep physician will review for evidence of sleep apnea.
The sleep study is a record of your night’s sleep so it is important to maintain your usual routine as much as possible. Have your usual evening meal and beverages and take your medications unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. You will place the sensors on your body as instructed at your appointment. Following your sleep study, you will pack and return the device to us as per your booking instructions.
Your test will be reviewed by a qualified Sleep Physician within a few weeks. If you have OSA, you will proceed to a therapy initiation and titration program that will set the ideal pressure for your therapy and find the best mask for your optimum comfort.
The most effective and widely accepted treatment for sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP has proven to be the most effective treatment for moderate and severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. A CPAP system consists of a small, quiet air pump, and a mask that fits over your nose or nose and mouth during your sleep. The pressure from the air-pump forces just enough air through the upper airway to prevent the airway from collapsing during sleep. CPAP therapy does not involve drugs or surgery.
We will guide you in selecting the most appropriate CPAP machine, mask and level of humidification to suit your personal needs.
Some people adjust immediately to therapy; others adapt more slowly. We are experts in helping patients experience the benefits and manage the challenges of getting used to the therapy. We provide a wide selection of equipment thatmeets all needs and budgets and offer unlimited mask exchange during the trial period. Our staff will work closely with you to help you achieve the best health outcome.
We will continue to follow up on your progress and make adjustments as necessary. We encourage you to come back to our clinics regularly to check that your therapy needs have not changed and to ensure the equipment continues to be in good working order to give you the optimal benefit of therapy.
Medicare covers the diagnostic test if you satisfy criteria defined in the MBS guidelines for sleep studies. Your GP will advise you about this when completing the referral. Most private health insurers include CPAP therapy under certain packages. We recommend contacting your health insurance provider to check your level of cover.