Who needs sleep apnea screening? And why?

The USPSTF (United States Preventive Services Task Force) is a conservative group that reviews data to give guidelines for physicians. The USPSTF has recently given recommendations on WHO should be screened for sleep apnea.

Who should NOT be screened for sleep apnea?

  • Asymptomatic patients should NOT be tested.

What are symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?

  • Snoring (especially if it’s loud and followed with gasps)
  • Restless sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime sleepiness and frequent nodding off during the day
  • Falling asleep at the wheel of a car
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Blood pressure elevation and increased heart rate may occur

How can treatment of obstructive sleep apnea help patients?

  • May lower blood pressure
  • Improvement in the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (so patients may not fall asleep during the day or at stop signs) and
  • a decrease in the number of times breathing is stopped while asleep.
  • May decrease motor vehicle crashes.
  • People feel better when they use the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure masks while asleep)

Does using CPAP decrease mortality or cardiovascular events (like heart attack and stroke)?

  • flickr.com/photos/ petahopkins/ 10113965984No.  The USPSTF did not find that CPAP decreases these outcomes.




About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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