Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is by far, the most common type of sleep apnoea, and it is caused by obstruction of the upper airway. It is characterized by repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, often associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. This may occur several times an hour with each pause in breathing lasting typically 20 to 40 seconds.
With this drop in blood oxygen saturation, one is forced to awake in order to restart breathing. When one is unconsciously and repeatedly awaked, it results in poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue and sleepiness.
Without treatment, OSA increases the risks of developing heart attacks, hypertension, stokes, dementia and depression.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from sleep apnoea, there are simple self administered tests you may take to assess your susceptibility.
This survey, created by Dr F. Chung, an anaesthetist from University of Toronto, helps to determine if you are at high or low risk for sleep apnoea.
1. Snoring: Do you snore loudly (louder than talking or loud enough to be heard through closed doors)?
2. Tired: Do you often feel tired, fatigued or sleepy during the day?
3. Observed: Has anyone observed that you stop breathing during sleep?
4. Pressure: Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?
5. BMI: Does your BMI exceed 35 kg/m2?
6. Age: Are you over 50 years old?
7. Neck circumference: Male (shirt collar 17 inch/43 cm or larger?) Female (shirt collar 16 inch/41 cm or larger?)
8. Gender: Are you male?
For general population
OSA - Low Risk : Yes to 0 - 2 questions
OSA - Intermediate Risk : Yes to 3 - 4 questions
OSA - High Risk : Yes to 5 - 8 questions
or Yes to 2 or more of 4 STOP questions + male gender
or Yes to 2 or more of 4 STOP questions + BMI > 35kg/m2
or Yes to 2 or more of 4 STOP questions + neck circumference 17 inches / 43cm in male or 16 inches / 41cm in female
Epworth Sleepiness Scale
How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired?
Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:
0 = would never doze off.
1 = slight chance of dozing
2 = moderate chance of dozing
3 = high chance of dozing
Rate each question as best as you can. Chance of dozing (0-3) in the following situations:
1. Sitting and reading
2. Watching TV
3. Sitting, inactive in a public place (e.g. a theatre or a meeting)
4. As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break
5. Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit
6. Sitting and talking to someone
7. Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol
8. In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic
1-6: Congratulations, you are getting enough sleep.
7-8: You score is average.
9 and up: Very sleepy and should seek medical advice.
With the advances in technology, sleep testing may now be done in the comfort of your own home (unlike previously having to stay overnight in the hospital sleep lab).
A Portable Diagnostic sleep-screening device that offers enhanced flexibility and ease of use to be performed at the comfort of your home. Neither physical symptoms or clinic examination are sufficient for the diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Polysomnography is required for the diagnosis. Home sleep study devices withstand the demands of both the clinical and home testing environment, while maintaining its impeccable record for the high quality and high performance that sleep professionals worldwide have come to rely on.