Do I need to have a sleep study to get a CPAP?

This question was asked in Ringgold, Georgia on .
Both of my brothers have sleep apnea and my wife tells me I do too because I snore a lot and gasp for air when I sleep. I have tried to have a sleep study done multiple times but it never seems to work out for whatever reason. My brothers sleep with CPAPs, is there any way I could get one too without having to get a sleep study done?

Doctors Answers (6)

Timothy J. Delcambre, DDS, MHA
Answered on: 7/17/2013

Yes, to receive a CPAP, a sleep study must be done to diagnose you with obstructive sleep apnea and then calibrate the amount of air pressure needed to get past the nasal/pharyngeal obstruction.

Susan M. Welch
Answered on: 7/11/2013

It is my understanding you cannot "get" a CPAP without a medical diagnosis and a request or 'script from a medical doctor.

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 7/11/2013

Because a CPAP is a medical device it does require a prescription to obtain one. Furthermore, in order for your insurance to reimburse for a CPAP a valid diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea must be documented. I would suggest you evaluate the reasons why you have been unable to have a successful sleep study and explore your options. A home sleep test might be a viable option for you to consider.

Jeannine Louise Gingras, MD
Answered on: 7/11/2013

Yes you first have to be diagnosed with sleep apnea. This will need a diagnostic baseline sleep study followed by a treatment sleep study if sleep apnea is confirmed. Some laboratories will perform a diagnostic and treatment study in one night. This is called a Split Night study.

Courtney Whitney, DO
Answered on: 7/11/2013

CPAPs are prescribed medical equipment that do require a doctor's order with a diagnosis of sleep apnea which is confirmed with a sleep study. So yes, a sleep study is required to get a CPAP. A home sleep study might be a really great option for you. There are a lot less wires and you get to sleep in your own bed which might help produce a more successful test. Insurance companies do cover home sleep testing. Your sleep physician would be able to help determine if you are a good candidate for a home sleep test.

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 7/11/2013

Yes. You do need a sleep study prior to starting therapy. One reason is to determine specific type of apnea you have. Another important reason is that the CPAP machine has to be set to the pressure that you need. Any sleep lab should be able to accommodate your schedule and make it as easy as possible to meet your needs.