Sleep Apnea
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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

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Your healthcare provider will ask you about your symptoms, risk factors, and whether you have a family history of sleep apnea. You may need a sleep study to help diagnose sleep apnea.

Sleep study

Your healthcare provider will ask you to see a sleep specialist or go to a center for a sleep study. Sleep studies can help diagnose which type of sleep apnea you have and how serious it is.

Sleep diary

Sleep diary thumbnailA sleep diary can help you keep track of how long and how well you sleep, and how sleepy you feel during the day. These details can help your healthcare provider diagnose your condition.

See a sample sleep diary.

Ruling out other medical conditions

Your provider may order other tests to help rule out other medical conditions that can cause sleep apnea.

  • Blood tests check the levels of certain hormones to check for endocrine disorders that could contribute to sleep apnea. Thyroid hormonestests can rule out hypothyroidism. Growth hormone tests can rule out acromegaly. Total testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) tests can help rule out polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Pelvic ultrasounds examine the ovaries and help detect cysts. This can rule out PCOS.

Your provider will also want to know whether you are using medicines, such as opioids, that could affect your sleep or cause breathing symptoms of sleep apnea. They may want to know whether you have traveled recently to altitudes greater than 6,000 feet, because these low-oxygen environments can cause symptoms of sleep apnea for a few weeks after traveling.

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