Diagnosis of sleep apnea is not simple because there can be many different causes. Primary care physicians, pulmonologists, neurologists, or other physicians with specialty training in sleep disorders may be involved in making a definitive diagnosis and initiating treatment. Several tests are available for evaluating a person for sleep apnea, including:
· Polysomnography - a test that records a variety of body functions during sleep, such as the electrical activity of the brain, eye movement, muscle activity, heart rate, respiratory effort, air flow, and blood oxygen levels.
· Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) - a test that measures the speed of falling asleep. People without sleep problems usually take an average of 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep. Individuals who fall asleep in less than 5 minutes are likely to require some type of treatment for sleep disorders.
Diagnostic tests usually are performed in a sleep center, but new technology may allow some sleep studies to be conducted in the patient's home.