Do A Free Self-Assessment
These validated and professionally recognised assessment tools determine your eligibility for a Medicare-rebated diagnostic sleep study.
Self Assessment Test #1
The first tool (known as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale) is a subjective 8 question evaluation of your normal level of sleepiness in a variety of situations. Persistent sleepiness is a major consequence of SDB and this test is considered to be a valuable tool for identifying serious SDB sufferers.
To assess yourself, ask: ‘How sleepy would I normally be in these situations?’. Add your points per answer on the following scale:
0 Points: No likelihood of falling asleep
1 Point: Slight likelihood " "
2 Points: Moderate likelihood " "
3 Points: High likelihood " "
Q1. Sitting reading
Q2. Watching TV
Q3. Sitting inactive in a public place
Q4. As a passenger in a car for an hour
Q5. Lying down in afternoon
Q6. Sitting/talking with someone
Q7. Sitting quiety after lunch (no alcohol)
Q8. In a car while stopped for 2 minutes at traffic lights
If you scored more than 8 on the ESS test you have satisfied one of the key criteria for Medicare coverage.
Self Assessment Test #2
The following 8 questions are known as the 'STOPBANG' criteria. To confirm your eligibility, score 1 point for each ‘Yes’ answer:
✔ Do you snore loudly and persistently?
✔ Do you wake feeling tired, or feel sleepy during the day?
✔ Have you ever woken choking / gasping, or has anyone ever seen you stop breathing while asleep?
✔ Do you have high blood pressure?
✔ Are you overweight?
✔ Are you over 50?
✔ Do you have a large (not slender) neck size?
✔ Are you a male?
Score 1 for each ‘Yes’ answer. The total score ranges from 0 to 8.
If you score 0 to 2, the possibility of you having moderate to severe sleep apnea can be confidently ruled out. Medicare coverage does not typically apply here.
A score of 3 - 4 is classified as moderate risk. Other factors will be considered to determine whether Medicare coverage is available. (See Self Assessment Test #3, below.)
A score of 5 to 8 is classified as high risk for moderate to severe OSA and is usually covered.
Male gender, being overweight and/or having a large neck circumference all significantly increase the risk of serious SDB.
Self Assessment Test #3
The existence of other conditions can also be an indicator of SDB. Check yourself against the following list:
✔ Pre- or type 2 diabetes
✔ Chronic acid reflux
✔ Waking with headache
✔ High blood pressure / hypertension
✔ Poor concentration / reduced cognitive function
✔ Frequent nightime urination (nocturia)
✔ Teeth grinding (bruxism)
✔ Reduced libido / erectile dysfunction
All of these conditions are symptoms, co-morbidities or consequences associated with serious sleep disordered breathing.
Multiple indicators mean vastly higher likelihood of serious SDB.
In many cases, these conditions are caused or exacerbated by your SDB. These conditions tend to worsen over time if the SDB is not controlled.
The good news is: treatment of your underlying sleep disorder will resolve or assist in the treatment of all these conditions.
By simply getting proper, healthy, restorative sleep you can resolve or alleviate many of these problems. You also avoid or reduce the risk of other dangerous conditions, such as ischaemic heart disease. type 2 diabetes and stroke, which are strongly associated with SDB.