According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), the majority of an estimated 22 million Americans don’t know they have sleep apnea. Snoring is usually a symptom, but it’s possible to snore but not have sleep apnea. Regardless, loud snoring brings about restless nights, dents healthy marriages, and may indicate poor health.
For this reason, the ASAA suggests four tests you can take to find out if you’re predisposed to sleep apnea. If any of these tests check out, go see a Brandon, FL sleep apnea specialist such as Bay Area TMJ & Sleep Center right away. As with virtually any disease, sleep apnea can be treated to great effect if detected early.
ASAA Snore Score
The first test is the Snore Score, a series of six questions that asks about your sleeping habits. Answering “Yes” to at least one of these questions puts you at risk of sleep apnea, even moreso with signs of obesity. To make the test more valid, have anyone close to you, like your spouse or whoever you sleep with, answer it.
Epworth Sleepiness Scale
Initiated by Dr. Murray Johns, founding director of the Sleep Disorders Unit of Epworth Hospital in Melbourne, in 1990, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale measures your drowsiness during the day. The test will give you eight common activities at which you must rate (1 to 3) according to how often you fall asleep while doing them. A total score of 9 and above means you have a problem.
Berlin Sleep Questionnaire
Developed in 1996, the Berlin Sleep Questionnaire determines both sleepiness and frequency of snoring. Each of the eight questions will yield corresponding points (1 or 2 points), which can be totaled for an assessment. The questionnaire also takes into account blood pressure, which can be considered existent if the body mass index (BMI) is over 30.
Considered the most comprehensive sleep apnea test, the STOP-Bang considers eight factors: loud snoring, tiredness, observed apnea, high blood pressure, BMI, age, neck circumference, and gender. A score of 6 or higher confirms severe obstructive sleep apnea, but a score of 4 still puts you at high risk.
The tests are written in simple language for your convenience. Remember: sleep apnea can trigger various disorders such as jaw pain among Brandon patients.