The only way to be diagnosed with sleep is through a polysomnography, which measure a patient's RDI
Currently, the only way to get a proper diagnosis of sleep apnea is to undergo a polysomnography. Someone who suspects that they might have sleep apnea should go to a sleep specialist who will arrange a test. These are typically done overnight in a sleep clinic, and the patient is closely monitored to measure their respiratory distress index (RDI). At the end of the session the patient will learn what their RDI is. RDI is measured like this:
- RDI of 0 to 5 is considered to be normal and does not require treatment
- RDI of 5 to 20 is mild and may require treatment but it may require a change in sleep habits
- RDI of 20 to 40 is moderate and requires treatment
- RDI over 40 is severe and requires treatment and monitoring.