Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea affects as many as 17 million Americans. That means your chance of being affected is 1 in 15. Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA has a team of board-certified neurologists who have experience diagnosing and treating sleep apnea. Knowing and understanding the symptoms of sleep apnea will help you to know when you should go to a neurologist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Some obvious symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, headaches, and excessive sleepiness during the day. You may have one of two types of sleep apnea; obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. 

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a sleep specialist or a doctor. The diagnosis is done in several steps. 

The first thing that will be done is a discussion of your symptoms and your general health. This will be followed by a physical exam. Even though symptoms alone aren't enough to make a diagnosis, they do factor into the course that will be taken.

Sleep Study

In order to diagnose sleep apnea in Winchester, VA, a sleep study is required. The best option is to do the study at a sleep study center. Called polysomnography, it requires an overnight stay. Multiple sensors will measure breathing, oxygen levels, awakenings, muscle movement, and sleep stages. When the sleep study is done at the clinic, they will be able to determine if you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea. 

A home sleep study may be an option for those with a severe case of obstructive sleep apnea. It is more convenient, but the results will still need to be interpreted by a medical professional. 

The Goal

The goal of diagnosing sleep apnea is to reduce or eliminate the cause of sleep disruption. Positive Airway Pressure is offered to almost everyone with OSA. A CPAP is a continuous positive airway pressure which is what many people use. This is not the only type of PAP that can be used. BiPap or APAP are also options. 

If the thought of PAP therapy makes you uncomfortable, there are mouthpieces that hold the jaw or tongue in place that can help with the snoring aspect of sleep apnea. Surgery is also an option if excess tissue in the throat is a factor. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising, and changing sleeping positions.

Contact our team of neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA for a sleep apnea diagnosis. The sooner you get a diagnosis of your sleep apnea, the sooner you can start enjoying a good night's sleep. Call our office at (540) 667-1828 to make an appointment today.

Winchester Neurological Consultants

Office Hours



8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-5:00 pm