Talking to Your Doctor About Sleep Apnea
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write your questions ahead of time so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- Could my daytime sleepiness be due to sleep apnea?
- How can I or my sleep partner tell if I’m having apnea episodes?
- Is it safe for me to continue to drive?
- Is it safe for me to operate heavy machinery?
- Is it safe for me to continue to participate in my usual activities?
- Is sleep apnea the only reason for my symptoms? What else could be causing my fatigue?
- Since I'm overweight, could I develop sleep apnea?
- Do I have any other risk factors for this condition?
- Are there other measures I can take to lower my risk?
- Are there any new trials of medications for sleep apnea that you would recommend?
- Are there dental or orthodontic devices that might be helpful for my degree of sleep apnea?
- Is my condition severe enough that you would recommend surgery in order to avoid potential complications?
- What are the success rates of the different types of surgical interventions?
- How much weight should I lose in order to reduce my risk of sleep apnea?
- Which weight loss program would you recommend?
- Are there pillow systems to help me sleep on my side?
- Should I discontinue using alcohol and sedatives?
- Can you recommend a program to help me quit smoking?
- What kinds of sleep apnea complications might I be at risk for?
- Does sleep apnea stay the same or worsen?
- How severe does sleep apnea have to be to produce serious complications?
- What signs of complications should I be alert for?
Being evaluated for sleep apnea. American Sleep Apnea Association website. Available at: http://www.sleepapnea.org/resources/pubs/evaluated.html. Published May 2005. Accessed September 17, 2008.
NINDS sleep apnea information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/sleep%5Fapnea/sleep%5Fapnea.htm. Updated December 28, 2010. Accessed June 3, 2013.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated May 23, 2013. Accessed June 3, 2013.
What is sleep apnea? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/SleepApnea/SleepApnea%5FSummary.html. Updated July 10, 2012. Accessed June 3, 2013.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/07/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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