How do I know if I have Sleep Apnea?
This question is asked frequently. The most common symptom is that someone hears you snoring, gasping, and stop breathing while you sleep. Some people wake themselves gasping for air.
There are other less obvious signs that you or someone you know isn’t sleeping well. Six to eight hours of sleep is sufficient for the majority of people if they are sleeping without apnea or other sleep disorders causing micro-arousals. Interruptions in breathing (called Apnea or Hypopneas) can cause you to awaken and feel like you haven’t gotten a good night sleep, and tiredness during the day is a sign that your sleep is not adequate. It’s not always the length of sleep, but the quality.
The following surveys are good screening for sleep apnea.
Stop-Bang surveys medical conditions that can be caused by sleep apnea.
The Epworth survey evaluates sleep quality: the questions are presented as if you are alone and undisturbed:
Score 1-6: You are probably sleeping OK
Score 7-8: Average score
Score 9+: You should get a sleep study : Seek out treatment
We recommend sleep tests.
Overnight oxygen tests are inadequate for properly evaluating sleep apnea. At home sleep tests are much better and cost less than $200 in most cases. The home sleep test involves a small device with straps that fit around your waist, an oxygen-like tubing fitted to the nose and a finger clip. Often, the device can be mailed to you and returned via mail.
We can evaluate whether you might be a candidate for an Oral Appliance to treat sleep and refer you to a physician for a sleep test.
Call us today to schedule an evaluation.