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Apnea Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Apnea. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. Do you snore, or has anyone ever told you that you snore?

    Why: Snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, and it is often something that you will only know about if someone else tells you. Even if it was in the distant past, it is still important for you to mention being told that you snore.

  2. Do you ever feel particularly tired or sleepy during the day?

    Why: Daytime tiredness (somnolence) can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea, and can affect your lifestyle.

  3. Do you ever actually fall asleep during the day as result of your increased tiredness?

    Why: If you fall asleep during the day when you aren't in bed as a result of tiredness then this can give and indication of the severity of your Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Central Sleep Apnea.

  4. Has anyone ever commented to you that you seem to "stop breathing" sometimes when you are asleep?

    Why: Apnoeic episodes or short periods where you appear to stop breathing when you are sleeping can indicate obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea. If you experience obstructive sleep apnea, then those who witness you "not breathing" may notice that your chest still moves and it looks like you are trying to breath, but no air is actually passing in or out of your mouth. However in central sleep apnea the witness may say that you do not try to breathe at all and are quite still during these episodes. There are important differences between these two types of apnea, and may require difference management strategies. You may have to go home and specifically ask your partner/family/bed-partner about their exact observations.

  5. Can you tell me about your sleep pattern and quality?

    Why: This is a very general question which allows you to tell your health professional about what concerns you. In particular it is important to mention whether or not you feel that you are having good quality sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea can cause a feeling of not sleeping well. Also, it may assist your Health Professional to understand your particular circumstance if they know a little about your sleep habits and hygiene.

  6. Do you wake up refreshed?

    Why: Those with obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea frequently state that they do not feel refreshed when they wake from sleep.

  7. Do you ever get headaches, especially in the morning?

    Why: Headaches in the morning, or just after you wake up can indicate obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea. It may help if you describe these headaches for your health professional, i.e., where are they, how bad are they, what do they feel like, do they go away, does anything make them worse.

  8. Have you had a decreased interest in sex?

    Why: A decreased libido can also occur in obstructive sleep apnea, and may cause you to feel embarrassed or particularly distressed. Even so, it is important for you to talk about this with your Health Professional as they may be able to suggest management options for both your apnea and decreased libido.

  9. How are you performing at work, school, and with everyday living?

    Why: obstructive sleep apnea can result in poorer than usual cognitive abilities, and this is usually best reflected or noticed at work/school.

  10. How has your ability to concentrate been lately, for example, can you read a newspaper or watch a movie all the way through?

    Why: Obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea may impair your ability to concentrate and you may notice such subtle things as not being able to read an entire newspaper or watch an entire movie in one sitting.

  11. Have you ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure (Hypertension)?

    Why: obstructive sleep apnea can place you at greater risk of hypertension. Whilst Hypertension requires separate management strategies from obstructive sleep apnea, the presence of one should raise some suspicion of the other. This is even more so in those who are overweight, middle-aged and male.

  12. Have you been involved in any car accidents?

    Why: Obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk of being involved in a traffic accident by up to nine times.

  13. Does anyone in your family snore or have obstructive sleep apnea?

    Why: Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition which tends to run in families. The exact genetics are as yet unclear; however jaw/neck shape and size tend to be familial, with certain shapes and sizes increasing your risk of obstructive sleep apnea.

  14. Do you consume alcohol? If you do, how much do you consume and when?

    Why: Alcohol consumption can predispose you to obstructive sleep apnea, particularly if you have been consuming it in the few hours before going to bed. They do this by causing muscles which open your airways to be more relaxed than usual.

  15. Do you take any medications?

    Why: Some medications (such as sedatives) can increase your risk of experiencing obstructive sleep apnea. This is because they can contribute to the relaxation of muscles in your airways.

  16. Have you ever been diagnosed with acromegaly or hypothyroidism?

    Why: These are both endocrine conditions which can predispose you to obstructive sleep apnea. Acromegaly is caused by an excessive release of growth hormone, whereas hypothyroidism is caused by the reduced release of thyroid hormones.

  17. Have you been feeling depressed or more irritable lately?

    Why: Depression and irritability are two psychological symptoms that you may have as a result of insufficient quality sleep experienced with obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea.

  18. How many times do you get up during the night to pass urine?

    Why: If you need to pass urine more than twice per night then you may be experiencing an higher than usual urinary frequency at night (nocturia). Obstructive sleep apnea can result in nocturia as a consequence of its disruption of your sleep routine and circadian rhythms.

  19. Have you ever seen a respiratory physician, or had sleep studies done?

    Why: If you do have obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea then it may be important to assess if there has been any deterioration or improvement in your condition.

  20. Have you ever had any neurological diagnoses, such as motor neuron disease?

    Why: Neurological conditions can result in central sleep apnea, as they may interfere with the function of the respiratory centers of the brain, or they may interfere with the muscles/nerves which control breathing.

  21. Have you ever had tonsillitis, or had your tonsils/adenoids removed surgically (tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy)?

    Why: Enlargement of the tonsils or adenoid glands in your throat may cause obstructive sleep apnea. It is important for your Health Professional to know if you have had either or both of these glands removed as it effectively rules them out as a cause of your condition.

  22. Do you smoke cigarettes?

    Why: Cigarette smoking can predispose you to obstructive sleep apnea as it increases the resistance to airflow in your nose.

  23. Do you experience allergies/Hayfever or recurrent infections of your upper airways?

    Why: All of these conditions can predispose you to obstructive sleep apnea.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Apnea:

The following list of conditions have 'Apnea' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Apnea or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P R S T U W Z #

Conditions listing medical complications: Apnea:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Apnea' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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