There are a few different scenarios in which a sleep study is needed or recommended. These scenarios include but are not limited to: Undiagnosed Sleep Disorder(s), Retitration, and Requalify.
First, let's look at undiagnosed sleep disorder(s). If you feel tired all the time, your sleep is not refreshing, you can't fall asleep, you can't stay asleep, you can't stay awake at the proper times, someone says you stop breathing while you sleep, or someone says you snore a lot, you are a prime candidate for a sleep study. Many different sleep disorders exist in which countless books, articles and publications are written. For time sake, I won't go into them. But, if you fall into this category, it is well worth your time to get checked out. It may save your life.
For those of you who have already had sleep studies and diagnosed with a Sleep Breathing Disorder, you fall into the Retitration and Requalification categories. Retitration is straight forward as to what is done, the sleep center simply titrates you again on xPAP. Sometimes the Sleep Doc will want to go from CPAP to BiPAP or maybe even a switch to "Fancy PAP". I use that term for everything else like AutoSV, ST, AVAPS, and others. When I first started titrating patients, we only had CPAP and BiPAP. Anyway, back to the topic at hand. How do you know when you are a candidate for a Retitration? Some of the instances may be if you are snoring with your mask on, feeling tired and unrefreshed, and sometimes when you feel it is not working for you in general. Some xPAP users get retitrated every couple of years just to be sure they are receiving optimal therapy. However, with today's technologies, patients and doctors are able to follow the progress because new xPAP machines will provide AHI's and leak data. Ultimately, it is best your doctor determines when you need a retitration. This brings us to Requalification.
Requalification is more for insurance companies. Depending on the insurance company, an individual needs to be redocumented and titrated every so many years. Especially if you need a new xPAP machine. Redocumentation means they need proof that you still have sleep apnea. So, you have to undergo a polysomnogram without xPAP so they can see how bad you are. This is usually a tough night for someone used to sleeping with xPAP. If the individual is lucky, a split night will be performed. If not, a second night is needed.
These are only very broad categories for when someone should have a sleep study. There are more reasons to have a sleep study that I did not touch on. If your doctor wants or needs you to have one, by all means do it.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section or send me an e-mail. My e-mail is listed in my profile. Until next time, Happy Sleeping!