Can a primary care doctor tell you definitely don't have sleep apnea without going to a sleep study? (Photo)
Doctor Answers 5
No doctor can diagnose Sleep Apnea without a study
Study is the ONLY way to know
Nobody can tell you you "definitely" don't have sleep apnea without a sleep study. The decision to obtain a sleep study is usually based on a number of factors including symptoms (daytime hypersomnolence, fatigue, feeling of nonrestorative sleep, morning headache, grinding of teeth, hypertension), exam of the nose and throat for factors making you at a higher risk for sleep apnea (nasal blockage such as a deviated septum, small jaw, big tongue, long palate), and questionnaires such as a STOP BANG and Epworth Sleepiness Scale. If your doctor has not evaluated you by asking these questions, it may not be a complete exam and you should consider evaluation by a sleep medicine specialist such as an otolaryngologist. A sleep study (either home or sleep-lab in a facility) would be required to diagnose the presence or absence of sleep apnea.
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I strongly Rx a sleep study if there is any concerns related to sleep.
Ira L Shapira DDS
Diplomate, American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
Diplomat, American Academy of Pain Management
Fellow and Regent, International College of CranioMandibular Orthopedics
Chair, American Alliance of TMD Organizations