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How to do a sleep apnea test?

Daytime sleepiness, snoring and morning headaches are some of the symptoms of sleep apnea. Have you noticed these signs on yourself or on someone you know? A sleep apnea test can help you confirm or dispel your doubts. It's a proactive approach that could help you better understand and manage your health or that of your loved one.

The different sleep apnea tests

Snoring caused by sleep apnea causes inconvenience to those around the affected person.If the disorder is not treated, it can put the patient's life in danger. During an apnea attack, two phenomena occur in the body: a significant drop in the concentration of oxygen and an increase in the level of carbon dioxide. In such a circumstance, the heart is forced to work more intensively to ensure the right balance. An individual suffering from sleep apnea experiences several interruptions in breathing each night. For each stop, a signal is sent to the brain to trigger the person to wake up and resume breathing. Frequent awakenings are detrimental to the quality of sleep.

To find out if you suffer from sleep apnea and find a solution, you can choose between several tests. Before consulting a doctor, more and more people go through a reel sleep apnea test (available by clicking here). This type of test is done by answering a few predefined questions. Today, it is also possible to download a sleep apnea test application. Among the best known tests, it should be noted: the Test de berlin, The Epworth Test and the NoSAS test. Each of these has its specificities and history. The NoSAS (No Sleep Apnea Syndrome) test, for example, was created to identify individuals at risk of suffering from SAHOS.

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Berlin test for sleep apnea: Explanation

The berlin test for sleep apnea is a questionnaire for measuring probability of a person to suffer from a sleep disorder. The results of this test are only indicative. A diagnosis by a doctor is mandatory . To take a berlin test, you are asked questions about your height and weight. After these questions, you have to answer several questions classified into three categories. The expected answers concern: snoring and its characteristics (noise), frequency of snoring, the observation of loved ones on possible breathing stops during your sleep, fatigue, etc. To complete the questionnaire, you must specify whether or not you suffer from high blood pressure. The answers to the questions are in the form of a drop-down menu.

Epworth test for sleep apnea: Explanation

The sleep apnea test epworth, or Epworth scale designates a questionnaire aimed at judging the effectiveness of SAHS treatment. Drowsiness is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea. To assess its general level in an individual, the epworth test is suitable. It is renowned worldwide for its effectiveness. It was created in 1990 by Dr. Murray Johns. The latter wanted to measure the drowsiness of his clients. The epworth sleep apnea test is, nowadays, used for screening sleep apnea in people of different age groups: children, adolescents and adults. After completing the questionnaire, which has only 8 questions, the patient can calculate his score and interpret the result. With a score below 8, he has no sleep deficit. A score between 9 and 14 indicates a lack of sleep. When the Epworth score is greater than 15, it is a case of excessive daytime sleepiness, there is a high probability that the individual already suffers from sleep apnea.

Who to consult for a sleep apnea test?

Since sleep apnea is a serious health condition, a diagnosis made by a health professional is important. The diagnosis makes it possible to identify the causes and choose the best solutions. Doctors know all the symptoms of sleep apnea. For a reliable analysis, they have a multitude of techniques.

A general practitioner or sleep disorder specialist may base their diagnosis on information obtained from observations by the patient's spouse or loved one. A person who suffers from sleep apnea is often unaware of their disorder. Those around her, especially the people who live with her, turn out to be well placed to notice symptoms that can be useful to the doctor: snoring, respiratory arrest, frequent awakenings, etc.

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For his diagnosis, the doctor may recommend a polysomnography. This is an examination that takes place in a sleep centre. This technique aims to highlight SAHS or other sleep disorders. It can be completed with tests such as: actimetry, polygraphy ventilatory, oximetry , the Maintenance of Awakening test or others.

As soon as you notice symptoms of sleep apnea, you should make an appointment with your general practitioner. He can direct you to a sleep specialist, if your case exceeds his skills .


Common medical terms you'll encounter


  • Apnea: cessation of breathing during sleep lasting 10 seconds or more.
  • Apnea-hypopnea index (AHI): number of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep measured during the recording of breathing during the night. The index is used to assess the severity of sleep apnea syndrome. 

  • Ventilatory polygraphy (sleep polygraphy): Recording of respiratory parameters during the night, carried out at home or in hospital. *Sleep apnea test at home.

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG): recording of electrical activity in the brain that changes between wakefulness and the various stages of sleep.
  • Electromyogram (EMG): recording of the electrical activity of the muscular system that changes between wakefulness and the different stages of sleep.
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