The stereotypical image of obstructive sleep apnea is an overweight, middle-aged man snoring loudly. Obstructive sleep apnea affects millions of Americans, and they aren’t all overweight men. Men, women, and children all have different symptoms.
Stacy suffered from fatigue for decades. She tried everything from special diets to medications to regular testing for thyroid, mono, and anemia. She was shocked when her doctor told her she had sleep apnea. It never crossed her mind because she was a young woman with a normal body weight.
She has been using her CPAP diligently for two years and feels great. Her immune system has improved, and she regulated her thyroid. The tension in her neck and shoulders disappeared. Her anxiety was greatly reduced and her blood pressure became normal again. She started CPAP Babes initially as a hashtag to “raise awareness around sleep apnea and make people who wear machines each night feel a little less alone.”
What’s an easy way to initially determine risk for obstructive sleep apnea? There is a simple and easy screening tool — the STOP-Bang questionnaire.
Developed in 2008 by Dr. Frances Chung at the University of Toronto as a pre-surgery screening tool, the STOP-Bang questionnaire is a reliable, efficient, and simple sleep apnea screening tool. 8 yes-no questions help assess OSA risk. OSA risk is based on your how many questions you answered yes.
|Questions Answered Yes||Moderate to High OSA Risk|
When Should You Take the STOP-Bang
Fortunately, STOP-Bang is free to take and you can easily score yourself. You should consider the sleep apnea screening if:
- Feel tired every day regardless of the amount of sleep
- Awake with a dry mouth or a sore throat
- Snore loudly
- Suffer from headaches
- Feel irritable
- Have trouble concentrating
- Fall asleep unexpectedly
Treating sleep apnea can be life-changing. If you’re worried you or someone you love suffers from sleep apnea, take the STOP-Bang questionnaire.