COVID-19 UpdateAs the situation surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to develop, Watermark Medical’s focus on the health and safety of our staff, partners, customers and patients is our top priority. We are closely monitoring guidance from the CDC and other public health organizations and taking appropriate action to ensure we continue to provide uninterrupted technical support, as well as maintain clinical and diagnostic services for our home sleep testing clients. While most of our technical and clinical staff are working remotely, we currently maintain shipping/receiving and quality assurance services from our office to manage device maintenance and repair requirements.
A few questions regarding the coronavirus outbreak have been specifically asked about the cleaning processes of the ARES device. Our cleaning procedure (when followed as described in the ARES Product Guide) has been validated and meets agency guidelines to mitigate the transfer risk of bacteria and viruses. For our customers safety, the ARES User Guide intended to be given or reviewed with each patient, includes instructions for the patient to place the device back in the plastic bag to return to the issuing facility. Once cleaned, storing the ARES device in a new resealable plastic bag will help ensure that the ARES remains clean and ready for the next patient use. Those who clean the devices after patient use can limit their chance of exposure by proper use of gloves and frequent washing of their hands. We are monitoring guidelines from CDC and other regulatory agencies and will adjust our procedure if their recommendations change.
Sleep apnea is likely the most common sleep disorder among American adults, with an estimated 1 in 5 people suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat are unable to keep the airway open during sleep. It affects millions of people, yet most don’t know they have OSA and are unaware of its life-threatening dangers. Other less common forms of this condition include central sleep apnea (CSA), where the brain is unable to send the right signals that control breathing throughout a sleep cycle.
Sleep apnea can lead to irregular sleep patterns and low oxygen levels. This dangerous combination of deficiencies may lead to hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver problems, memory loss, and even death.
If you believe you might be suffering from sleep apnea, after speaking with your doctor, you will need to document your sleep patterns. Conducting a sleep study is the best approach to get a comprehensive analysis of your sleep quality. Due to advances in medical technology, these studies can be done in the comfort of your own home with Watermark Medical’s ARES™ Home Sleep Test Solution. These tests are used to diagnose sleep apnea and measure the severity of your condition.
While In-lab sleep studies were historically the gold standard, patients now have the convenient option for an at-home sleep test. There is positive data in testing patients within their home environment, along with the comfort, lower cost, and faster process.
As the sleep market shifts, payors are demanding more cost-effective solutions to the traditional sleep lab experience. High insurance deductibles and cash pay rates often make in-lab sleep testing less attainable for many. However, Home Sleep Tests (HST) are usually covered by insurance at a much lower cost to the patient.
Healthy sleep is key when it comes to maintaining good overall health. Since people who suffer from sleep apnea tend to be sleep-deprived, symptoms may include:
Stress on Heart
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Learning and Memory Difficulties
These symptoms are warning signs. If sleep apnea is left untreated, the condition can create more severe health problems that don’t just affect sleep. OSA increases the risk of high blood pressure, which can also manifest in cardiac arrhythmia, strokes, and congestive heart failure.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, and there is no single cause. However, certain factors increase the risk of developing OSA:
Small or Narrowed Airway
Obesity & Excess Weight
Habitual Smoking or Alcohol Use
OSA can be hereditary, as facial structure, body type, and other physical conditions are passed down genetically. Sleep apnea is typically more common in men and older adults, but women can be just as likely to have sleep apnea, especially after menopause.
Once testing has confirmed a diagnosis of sleep apnea, medical professionals may recommend a variety of treatment options. Click here to read more about treatment options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
If you are consistently tired, have interrupted sleep during the night, or have difficulty concentrating or retaining information, then it might be time to evaluate how soundly you’re sleeping. The ARES™ Home Sleep Test allows you to get a reliable, comprehensive diagnosis from the comfort of your own home. Talk to a medical professional today about taking the next steps to safer sleep.