Sleep apnea is not a condition that is typically diagnosed during a general physical exam. It cannot be detected through blood work or any other simple tests. There are a couple of different ways that this condition can be diagnosed, however.
Symptoms Based Diagnosis
A physician may diagnose you with Sleep apnea if you describe the symptoms you are experiencing. The symptoms might be clear enough to allow the physician to recommend an appropriate sleep apnea treatment. Your response to that treatment would then dictate how the course of treatment would continue.
While this can be an effective way to diagnose and treat sleep apnea, many doctors agree that polysomnography, also known as a sleep study, provides much more useful information regarding the severity of the condition and the underlying causes. This information can help design a more effective and customized treatment plan.
Polysomnography (Sleep Study)
Sleep studies, referred to as polysomnography, are used to study many different sleep-related disorders, from narcolepsy to insomnia to seizure disorders. It is also used to diagnose sleep apnea.