A detailed history from the person (and their partner) followed by a thorough examination, by an expert in Sleep Disordered Breathing, will often raise suspicion of having Sleep Apnoea. For example, making an assessment of how sleepy a person is during the daytime, sleep patterns, known episodes of lack of breathing (apnoeas) are some of the things to evaluate in the history as well as many others. A high “Sleepiness Score” on a validated questionnaire (Epworth Sleepiness Score) will raise suspicions of possible Sleep Apnoea.
A through examination would include a careful assessment of the airway (breathing passages) of the nose and throat.
When there is any suspicion of Sleep Apnoea the person should have a Sleep Study performed to make the definitive diagnosis. This is performed at home in almost all cases and it is organized by an expert member of the Sleep Disordered Breathing team.