The key signs of sleep apnea are:
Both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea are diagnosed by a sleep test. Your sleep test will diagnose your sleep apnea as mild, moderate or severe depending on how many apnea events you have per hour. An event is complete or partial loss of breath for 10 seconds or longer. Complete loss of breath is called an apnea. Partial loss of breath is called a hypopnea.
If your sleep apnea has been diagnosed as moderate to severe, you are at risk of long term health problems if it’s left untreated. There are a number of treatment options you can consider to relieve your symptoms. Lifestyle changes may also be recommended.
Unlike moderate to severe sleep apnea, mild obstructive sleep apnea has less risk attached to it and is often successfully managed with lifestyle changes and regular follow-up monitoring.2 If these measures don’t improve your symptoms, then it may be time to consider treatment.
If you’re diagnosed with central sleep apnea and you have no noticeable symptoms, your doctor will most likely recommend lifestyle changes as the first option, or a breathing device if the condition is more severe. Central sleep apnea is often associated with other conditions, so treatment of those conditions is an important part of therapy.
To diagnose sleep apnea, you can choose to have a home sleep test, which means you get to sleep in the comfort of your own bed, or alternatively, you can do a sleep test at hospital or in a specialist sleep lab. Find out about the home sleep test.