Diagnosing Sleep Apnea – Glendale, AZ

Identifying the Cause of Your Sleep Troubles

doctor writing sleep apnea with a marker

Before sleep apnea treatment can begin, the condition must be properly diagnosed. If you come to us, unsure if you have this disorder, we will guide you through the screening and testing process. We want to not only determine if you have sleep apnea but also identify the root cause. As a result, we can do more than just address your symptoms—we can help you overcome this condition and get the rest you deserve. To learn about the process of diagnosing your sleep apnea in Glendale, read the content below and contact us for a consultation.

Medical History

medical history form with a pen

Learning more about your personal and family medical history is essential for most diagnoses, including sleep apnea. We will ask pointed questions to get to the core of your problems and connect the dots to their cause. Here are just some of the signs and symptoms we will ask about:

  • Insomnia, snoring, daytime fatigue.
  • Family history of sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.
  • Tobacco use or alcohol consumption.
  • Obesity, a major risk factor.
  • Conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which are closely connected to sleep apnea.

Physical Exam

blood pressure being taken for a patient

Did you know that your body’s anatomy could play a role in your risk for sleep apnea? For instance, if neck is larger than the average 17 inches around for men or 16 inches around for women, these tissues may block your airway. Enlarged tonsils or a thick tongue can also increase your risk of sleep apnea.

To discover these kinds of anatomical contributors, we conduct a quick physical examination of these areas of your body. We’ll also look at the size of your jaw and how your tongue sits during rest within your mouth.

Ruling Out Other Factors

clock, pills, glass of water, and mask on nightstand

Although certain causes can be uncommon, we’ll need to rule out specific possibilities. For instance, women, in particular, can experience sleep apnea symptoms as a result of hormonal imbalances. Opioids and other medications can also result in these struggles. As a result, we may order a blood test to eliminate these as potential causes.

Keep in mind that if you have been at an altitude that’s 6,000 ft or higher, sleep apnea symptoms can occur for a few weeks after being exposed to low oxygen levels. Let us know if this is true for you so that we can accurately diagnose the issue.

Sleep Study

illustration of a person in a sleep study with results

If we have reason to believe you could have sleep apnea after this screening for the risk factors above, we will order a sleep study, which is a test that will entail you spending the night at a designated lab. Or, in some cases, you may be able to complete the test at home. In either location, you’ll wear a device that will monitor your breathing, vitals, and brain activity throughout the night. A sleep physician will review the results and determine your diagnosis. If you do have sleep apnea, our team can then explore offering an alternative to a CPAP machine with a custom, specialized oral appliance.