After the Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

 

Check list of things to ask your sleep doctor and CPAP provider

You have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. For most patients, sleep apnea is for life and this is the time to be proactive in your prescribed treatment therapy. You are most likely in a sleepy fog when you visit the sleep doctor for your follow up visit. You will be given the results of your overnight sleep study, have a follow up visit with the sleep doctor; then be referred to a CPAP provider and not necessarily in that order. This is a critical time as you begin CPAP therapy and the information you will be receiving is important yet may seem overwhelming; your brain may be on overload. This is all new to you and so how will you know what questions to ask?

The following is a checklist of important information you should receive and questions you should ask your healthcare providers.

-Sleep Doctor

What is my specific sleep apnea diagnosis?

Obstructive sleep apnea, Central Sleep Apnea or Mixed Sleep Apnea (both obstructive and central)

What is the difference between the diagnoses?

If you are diagnosed with central sleep apnea, ask for a thorough explanation of what it is, why you have it and how it may be treated differently in your case.

WHY do I have sleep apnea?

Ask the doctor what your physical/anatomical reasons are for having sleep apnea and discuss your treatment options. CPAP is typically first line treatment, but familiarize yourself with other options such as oral appliance therapy, that are appropriate for your condition. Treatment options are dependent on WHY YOU have sleep apnea in the first place.