How is Sleep Apnea diagnosed?

The first step to diagnosing Sleep Apnea is screening. Screening is simply a quick way to assess patient's risk factors, and determine if further testing is needed. Two quick screening tools are the STOP-BANG questionnaire, and the Epworth Sleep Assessment. Take the STOP-BANG questionnaire now:


Answer the following questions to find out if you are at risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

  1. S (snore) — Have you been told that you snore? Yes | No
  2. T (tired) — Are you often tired during the day? Yes | No
  3. O (obstruction) — Do you know if you stop breathing or has anyone witnessed you stop breathing while you are asleep? Yes | No
  4. P (pressure) — Do you have high blood pressure or on medication to control high blood pressure? Yes | No

If you answered YES to two or more questions on the STOP portion you are at risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is recommended that you contact your primary care provider to discuss a possible sleep disorder.

To find out if you are at moderate to severe risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, complete the BANG questionnaire now:


  1. B (BMI) — Is your body mass index greater than 28? Yes | No
  2. A (age) — Are you 50 years old or older? Yes | No
  3. N neck) — Are you a male with a neck circumference greater than 17 inches, or a female with a neck circumference greater than 16 inches. Yes | No
  4. G (gender) — Are you a male? Yes | No

The more questions you answer YES to on the BANG portion, the greater your risk of having moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

If the screening indicates that you may be at risk, then the final step is to complete a sleep study. Sleep Apnea can only be diagnosed by means of a Sleep Study. This can be done in a Sleep lab, or many times the sleep test can be administered at home. The results must be interpreted by a Physician Board Certified in Sleep medicine, who renders the Diagnosis. The Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea is typically classified as Mild, Moderate or Severe.