Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about Ognomy or general questions about Sleep Apnea, you can find the answers here. We want to make it easy for you to get the help and treatment you may need for a better night’s sleep and an improved overall quality of life.
Does Ognomy work on any smartphone?
Ognomy works on most Android and Apple smartphones.
Why is it called “Ognomy”?
Ognomy comes from the Greek word “physiognomy” which is the art of diagnosis based on facial expression/structure. Since telemedicine is truly a face-to-face visit with your provider, physiognomy surely plays a role!
How do you pay for Ognomy? Does insurance cover Ognomy? What about Medicare and Medicaid?
Ognomy is covered by most major insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid, in most regions. If not covered by your insurance or if you have a high-deductible plan or no health insurance at present, we offer the most reasonable self-pay options for you.
We also offer a highly affordable monthly subscription service, that allows you to spread your medical costs out over time.
What medically significant metrics does the Ognomy home apnea test produce?
The Ognomy home apnea test tracks the number of obstructive apnea, central apnea and hypopnea events that occur during the recording. It calculates the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) which is the key metric used to diagnose sleep apnea.
Can I download Ognomy and get sleep apnea diagnosis today?
You can now download the app to your iPhone or Android and see if your matched provider has availability today or tonight! You simply need to download the app and follow the registration instructions to schedule your telemedicine appointment.
Don’t be put off by the information that is required – this is the same information you would expect to be asked in a doctor’s office when you meet them for the first time. Things like age and gender can affect the treatment you are prescribed, your address is necessary as Ognomy is only currently available in certain locations, and we can provide additional solutions for you if you reside elsewhere.
Will the appointment costs differ from traditional visits?
No, the costs do not differ and are often less expensive to you and/or your insurance company.
Are there additional fees for online visits?
No, you may be responsible for your typical specialist visit copay or co-insurance, but there are no additional fees. Further, you will never be charged a fee without your consent.
If not covered by your insurance or if you have a high-deductible plan or no health insurance at present, we offer the most reasonable self-pay options for you.
We also offer a highly affordable monthly subscription service, that allows you to spread your medical costs out over time. Contact us if you would like more information.
Is it worth the money? How can a doctor know what’s going on through video?
Ognomy board-certified sleep specialists have years of sleep medicine experience and can confidently make diagnoses through our sophisticated telemedicine and home testing technology.
During your telemedicine consultation, the doctor will check your medical history and perform a physical examination, which includes an examination of your throat via your phone camera. Patients thus far are thrilled with their Ognomy experience and find the process convenient, efficient, and “worth it!”.
What is the quality of the care I’ll receive?
At Ognomy, we endeavor to give the best possible patient care and experiences. We have a team of dedicated health professionals who are medically trained and board-certified.
Some of our award winning providers are the BEST in their field. In fact, some patients report that the care they receive through Ognomy is far superior to brick and mortar sleep medicine practices.
How do telehealth and in-person care work together?
Sometimes they work in tandem. After your initial evaluation, your provider might suspect a diagnosis that requires an in-person evaluation, or even a sleep study in a sleep center. If so, your provider will work closely with a center near you, or a center directly associated with your provider.
Are you seeing new patients or just existing patients via Ognomy?
Ognomy is accepting new adult patients all the time, in New York and Georgia – we are soon expanding to more states however, and you can stay up to date by following our social media pages, joining our newsletter or keeping an eye on our interactive coverage map.
We are currently not seeing pediatric patients younger than 12 years old via the Ognomy platform, but we plan on it in the future!
What is the sign-up process for Ognomy? Are patients immediately connected with a doctor? Do they fill something out and then hear back?
Once you download the app and proceed through the registration process, you are immediately matched with a board-certified licensed provider for sleep medicine care in your state.
If you are an early adopter of Ognomy and we are unable to provide a match for you, we can look at different options for you including the possibility of referring other telemedicine providers in your state. Please see attached sheet to learn more – Ognomy Product Data Sheet.
What hours are you available?
Once you register in the app and are matched with your provider, you will note the hours of availability. If you find the available dates and times are not convenient, you can actually switch to a different provide to find a more appropriate schedule.
Ognomy also offers appointments at nights and weekends for your convenience!
What is the Ognomy at-home sleep study test?
The Ognomy at-home sleep study is FDA approved, highly effective, and the test ships directly to your home. This easy-to-use test will monitor your oxygen and breathing levels and even your pulse rate. We also provide full instructions to enable you to self-administer the test, so you never have to travel to, or stay overnight, in a sleep test center.
You simply wear the test (a few probes and a comfortable belt) for one night and then you send it back to us. The study will be reviewed and hand-scored by a sleep technician and then interpreted by your doctor, who will decide the best course of action depending on your results.
This home testing option reduces the amount of time you would spend at numerous in-person appointments with a doctor, at a sleep center, or collecting and returning the equipment.
About Sleep Apnea
What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat fail to keep your breathing airway open, resulting in either a partial or complete blockage in your airway. Essentially, you stop breathing periodically throughout the night!
This, in turn, signals your brain to subconsciously wake up in order to tell your body that you need to breathe. This can cause you to wake up as many as 500 times each and every night, depending on the severity of your OSA.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
These are the main symptoms of sleep apnea (one or more of the following):
– loud or frequent snoring
– silent pauses in breathing
– choking or gasping sounds
– daytime sleepiness or fatigue
– non-restorative or refreshing sleep
– morning headaches
– going to the bathroom frequently at night
– difficulty concentrating
– memory loss
– decreased sexual desire
– sometimes even death
What are the long-term health risks?
Chronic sleeplessness is associated with numerous health risks ranging from minor conditions to chronic health concerns. As you are more likely to grind your teeth and breathe through your mouth, sleep apnea can result in cracked teeth and an increased risk of cavities.
You will be more likely to have high blood pressure, depression and a lower sex drive.
Being tired all the time affects your quality of life; your relationships, energy for hobbies and ability to perform well at work. Lack of sleep is also linked with weaker immunity, meaning you may get ill more often or take longer to recover.
Also, people with sleep apnea are more likely to die prematurely. The physical effects lead to systemic inflammation (affecting the whole body) which is known to cause several chronic diseases. For instance, OSA can increase the likelihood of you developing type 2 diabetes, glaucoma, asthma, liver damage, an irregular heartbeat or congestive heart failure.
Sleep apnea increases your risk of having heart attacks and strokes. It can also cause complications of existing conditions such as diabetes. Sleep apnea can also cause complications in pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
In very rare cases you can choke to death in your sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may fall asleep behind the wheel while driving; people with sleep apnea are five times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than those with normal sleep. Scary stuff.
What are the risk factors?
Weight is a primary risk factor for OSA. Excess body fat contributes to blocking up your breathing airways, making it harder for you to breathe as you sleep. However, 40% of people with sleep apnea are not overweight. So don’t let a normal body weight fool you.
Lifestyle choices also contribute. Alcohol and other sedatives relax your breathing muscles, which can contribute to blocking off your airway as you sleep. Oftentimes, your frequent awakenings are treated with a sleeping pill and that can make sleep apnea even worse.
Your physical features can also play a role: larger neck sizes, a small upper airway, a small jaw, a recessed chin, and a large tongue, tonsils, or uvula can all contribute and put you at risk for OSA!
Demographics and age play a role. OSA is slightly more common among men and post-menopausal women. OSA prevalence also increases with age. After the age of 60, the risk increases dramatically.
Also, if your family has a history with OSA, you are 4 times more likely to get the disorder yourself.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Typically, diagnosing sleep apnea is a long process involving multiple appointments with your doctor. Your doctor might do a simple screening test. You may then be referred to a local sleep clinic for additional tests to measure your brain activity, blood oxygen levels, breathing patterns, heart rate, snoring and eye/leg movements (more comprehensive measurements that can accurately diagnose sleep apnea).
It can take months to get an appointment and weeks before you receive the results.
Here’s the good news: Getting diagnosed and on your way to proper treatment has never been easier than with Ognomy – The Sleep Apnea App. Just download it from the Appstore or Google Play, schedule a telemedicine appointment, and get connected to a board-certified practitioner.
After you schedule a telemedicine consultation, the doctor will do a medical history and perform a physical examination of your throat via your phone camera. From here, the next step usually entails the doctor ordering a home sleep test for you (as opposed to the more cumbersome sleep study in the Sleep Center), which ships directly to your home.
This easy-to-use test will monitor your oxygen and breathing levels. You simply wear the test (a few probes and a comfortable belt) for one night then you send it back to us (free post). The study will be reviewed and hand-scored by a sleep technician and then interpreted by your doctor, who will decide the best course of action depending on your results.
Check out this handy sheet for more information – Ognomy Product Data Sheet.
How is sleep apnea treated?
The gold standard in sleep apnea treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which is clinically proven to be an effective treatment for mild to severe sleep apnea. Other options include; oral appliances, lifestyle changes and surgical treatments among others.
Once your test results are complete, and depending on their findings, your sleep specialist will walk you through the treatment options best suited to you.
How can CPAP therapy help?
The CPAP machine blows air into your airways through your nasal passages, creating ‘positive airway pressure’, which prevents any obstruction by your tongue or loose tissue. A specialist will set the pressure at the optimal level for each recipient.
Although the CPAP mask does need to be worn every night to prevent sleep apnea from returning, its ergonomic design means most people get used to it very quickly.
Do I have sleep apnea?
It you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important to get checked out. The best way to find out if you have sleep apnea is to download Ognomy – The Sleep Apnea App, for free on your iPhone or Android.
Given the serious effects this condition can have on your health, you don’t want to wait to get a reliable diagnosis and effective treatment.
What’s the difference between mild, moderate and severe sleep apnea?
Sleep specialists decide if your sleep apnea is mild, moderate, or severe by counting how many times your breathing stops per hour. These pauses in you breathing are called “apneas” or “events”. Your doctor can count these events using polysomnography or portable home monitoring.
Mild: 5-14 interruptions in breathing per hour.
Moderate: 15- 30 interruptions per hour.
Severe: 30 or more interruptions per hour.
What is central sleep apnea?
Central sleep apnea (CSA) is more of a communication problem with the brain than a mechanical problem with the breathing airways. With CSA, your brain actually fails to signal the muscles that are supposed to be regulating your breathing.
CSA is much less common than OSA, comprising around 15% of all sleep apnea cases. It is possible to have both obstructive and central sleep apnea. This is called mixed sleep apnea.
What is sleep-hypoventilation syndrome?
When a person doesn’t breathe enough during the night to blow off carbon dioxide or take in the oxygen they need, this is called sleep-hypoventilation syndrome. Hypoventilation means to breathe less than is necessary to keep the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood at a normal level. Sleep hypoventilation is often linked to obesity, but genetic causes exist.
The first choice of treatment for sleep-hypoventilation syndrome is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). If a person’s oxygen and carbon dioxide levels don’t improve with CPAP, the doctor will recommend a more sophisticated machine, like a bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machine.
What is mixed or complex sleep apnea?
In mixed or complex sleep apnea, a person has a blend of both central and obstructive sleep apnea. Each episode usually begins when your brain forgets to tell your muscles that you need to breathe (central sleep apnea). Then your body tries to breathe, but the airway is blocked (obstructive sleep apnea).
How common is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a chronic disease affecting over 25 million Americans. 1 in 5 US adults have at least a mild form of sleep apnea (20%).
1 in 15 US adults have at least moderate sleep apnea (7.5%) and 2 to 3% of children are likely to have sleep apnea. Approximately 80% of people with sleep apnea are undiagnosed and are suffering without knowing why.
I have sleep apnea. Is it safe to travel?
Yes, it’s safe for people with sleep apnea to travel, as long they continue their treatment. Sleep apnea does not take a vacation. You need to take your CPAP with you when you travel.
If you are flying, bring your CPAP machine as carry-on luggage. To make getting through security as smooth as possible, bring a letter from your doctor explaining what your CPAP machine is, and that it’s medically necessary for you to use it.
You should bring your CPAP with you everywhere you sleep. If you go to the hospital, bring your CPAP machine and use it.
If you have sleep apnea but are not yet receiving treatment, it may be unsafe for you to drive. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may fall asleep behind the wheel while driving. People with sleep apnea are five times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than those who sleep normally.