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Drowsiness Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Drowsiness. 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. A history may have to be obtained from relatives, friends, witnesses or ambulance officers
  2. When did the drowsiness state start?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  3. How severe is the drowsiness?

    Why: may range from feeling sleepy to barely able to be roused.

  4. If the person did not present themselves, what was the setting in which the person was found?
  5. Are there simple reasons to explain drowsiness?

    Why: e.g. not getting enough sleep, sleep debt, shift work, jet lag, boredom and fatigue.

  6. What is the quality of your sleep?

    Why: e.g. insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy.

  7. Recent head injury?

    Why: e.g. car accident; may suggest subdural or extradural haematoma, intracerebral hemorrhage or concussion.

  8. Has there been exposure to extreme cold temperatures?

    Why: may suggest hypothermia which can cause drowsiness and impaired consciousness.

  9. Recent foreign travel?

    Why: e.g. may suggest Chagus disease (confined to South and Central America); African trypanosomiasis ( African sleeping sickness is confined to West and Central Africa).

  10. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. diabetes, hypothyroidism, hepatic failure, renal failure, epilepsy.

  11. If patient is diabetic, do they have insulin injections, have they had a recent infection, have they been eating properly?

    Why: may indicate risk of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemic ketoacidotic pre-coma or hyperglycemic hyperosmolar non- ketotic syndrome.

  12. Past psychiatric illness?

    Why: e.g. depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder - may indicate increased risk of suicide attempt by overdose, carbon monoxide poisoning or other poisoning. Depression, anxiety and stress may cause tiredness and drowsiness as a symptom.

  13. Recent stress or personal problems?

    Why: may suggest increased risk of suicide attempt.

  14. Medications?

    Why: overdose of prescribed medication may be the cause e.g. tranquilizers, antidepressants, pain relief medications such as morphine; some medications may cause drowsiness as a side-effect including certain antidepressants, tranquilizers, antihistamines, certain cold and flu medications, certain decongestants, beta blocker blood pressure medications and certain heart pills.

  15. Illegal drug history?

    Why: may suggest drug overdose as cause of drowsiness e.g. heroin, amphetamines; may also be drug withdrawal e.g. benzodiazepines.

  16. Alcohol history?

    Why: may suggest acute alcohol intoxication, alcohol withdrawal, hepatic failure, Wernicke's encephalopathy, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome as cause.

  17. Caffeine intake?

    Why: caffeine withdrawal has been known to cause drowsiness.

  18. Fever?

    Why: suggests infection (and if severe possible shock) as cause of drowsiness e.g. meningitis, encephalitis, septicemia, pelvic inflammatory disease, aspiration pneumonia, urinary tract infection, peritonitis, pancreatitis, chagas disease, viral infections and even the common cold.

  19. Seizure activity?

    Why: e.g. twitching of limbs, incontinence of urine or feces - may suggest epilepsy, brain cancer, meningitis, stroke, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia.

  20. Headache?

    Why: may suggest subarachnoid hemorrhage (sudden severe headache), brain tumor, subdural haematoma, extradural haematoma, meningitis, encephalitis, hydrocephalus or obstructive sleep apnea (morning headache).

  21. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?

    Why: e.g. loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, unrefreshed sleep, restless sleep, morning headache, nocturnal choking, reduced libido.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Drowsiness:

The following list of conditions have 'Drowsiness' 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 Drowsiness or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Conditions listing medical complications: Drowsiness:

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


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