New Regulations Give Approval to Doctors to Use Portable Monitors to Diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea

New Regulations Give Approval to Doctors to Use Portable Monitors to Diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Product-Nox-T3When a person stays in an overnight sleep laboratory to find out if they have obstructive sleep apnea, new guidelines that were given by the American College of Physicians state that portable sleep monitors will are good enough tools that can be

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used. The announcement of these new guidelines is a positive thing for doctors and patients alike, making it an easy process to determine if there is an issue with obstructive sleep apnea.

“In the past several years, the use of portable monitors have been used a lot more than ever before,” the co-author of the guidelines, Dr. Jon-Erik Holty, a critical care pulmonologist and sleep physician with VA Palo Alto Health Care System said.

One reason why these portable monitors have picked up in popularity over the past several years is because insurance companies often prefer the use of these devices over any other. This is because of

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their lower costs instead of paying for the larger expense of paying for sleep laboratory employees to monitor a patient throughout the night.

Holty would add that, “For the average person, they’re just as accurate as an in-lab study.”

The portable monitors will work well with most patients looking for a diagnosis, but it isn’t for everyone. The authors of the new guidelines said that those with congestive heart failure, neurological disorders, and/or chronic lung disease should not be checked with the portable monitors, rather, they should be checked in a sleep lab.

An estimated nine percent of Americans suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea. The condition can develop in patients of all ages, but is known to develop more in older patients.

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The reason why people that are suffering from sleep apnea struggle to sleep through the night is that when they are in a deep sleep is their throat closes and in turn, blocking the airways. When the airway is blocked, the sleep pattern is disrupted and the person will often wake up subconsciously.

The new guidelines for sleep study examinations were published in the Aug. 5 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The information being divulged in the guidelines are said to be based off research findings that have been compiled over the past several decades.

Recommendations from Guidelines

In the new guidelines, patients that admit to feeling sleepy and tired during the day are recommended to undergo a sleep study, either with the portable monitor or in a sleep lab. This exact circumstance is called the “weak recommendation” which they call is based off “low-equality evidence.” With the portable monitors being rather inexpensive at between $200 and $250,

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insurance companies will be more likely to pay for this method instead of the most expensive sleep lab stay which will cost at

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The difference in these prices is easy to figure out and it is understandable of the stance insurance companies will take on it. When a patient goes to a sleep lab, they are going to pay more because they are going to have to pay for the worker to be in the lab to monitor them. When a portable monitor is used, you also don’t have to pay for the electricity and for patients that aren’t located near a sleep lab, portable monitors make it easier to find out if they have a problem.

Why is Sleep Apnea So Dangerous?

Many people often think that sleep apnea is something that just makes you snore through the night or just disrupts your sleep patterns to the point where you are sleepy and tired the next day. When a person suffers from sleep apnea for an extended period of time, more serious issues can develop including stroke, heart disease, diabetes, heart attack and issues with your memory. While sleep apnea has never been officially linked to these conditions, it is believed to be a major factor in it.

Holty believes that an estimated 90 percent of Americans have obstructive sleep apnea, but just haven’t been diagnosed with the condition.

Problems with Portable Monitors

As we already touched on, there are some cases where these monitors should not be used, but one thing that needs to be kept in mind is that they won’t be able to diagnose the condition in patients that suffer from a mild form of sleep apnea. This is something that will need to be relayed to insurance companies better, but as long as you,

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as the patient, get the diagnosis and treatment you need, none of the insurance stuff should matter.

About the Author

541480_10151782779092178_1954746168_nHobson Lopes is a 2012 graduate of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn. He is a professional writer and author of a cookbook for men called Men Cook Too. He is also the owner of The First Pitch and can be followed on

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