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Do you have sleep apnea? As many as 80% remain undiagnosed

While there are 18 million Americans who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, the truth is that there are many individuals who have this disorder and don’t even realize it.

Living with undiagnosed sleep apnea is dangerous because if untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.

To help people better understand this disorder and identify symptoms, the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) has provided a number of helpful resources on its website.

For example, there are four simple tests you can take right now that will help you determine whether you may have sleep apnea:

  • Berlin Sleep Questionnaire – Three categories of questions that will tell you if you’re at risk of having sleep apnea
  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale – A series of eight questions developed by Dr. Murray Johns that measures daytime sleepiness
  • Snore Score – A series of six questions that will tell you if you’re at high risk of having sleep apnea
  • STOPBang Questionnaire – A series of eight questions that will tell you if you’re at low, high or very high risk of having sleep apnea

If these tests indicate that you’re at risk of having sleep apnea, the next step is to contact your primary care physician. Then, to obtain a definitive diagnosis, you’ll need to participate in a sleep study, which consists of spending the night in a sleep lab or using special equipment to perform the study at home.

The good news is that sleep apnea is a highly treatable disorder. Don’t let it interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep or put you at risk of developing serious health complications. Take the tests featured on the ASAA website today.

photo credit: Nicky Wilkes via photopin cc