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How do you make diagnosis of a sleep disorder?

Like any other medical condition, the diagnosis is based on the history given by the patient (parents if patient is a child) and/or the sleep partner. In some patients there may be no reported nocturnal symptoms but certain daytime symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, poor concentration and irritability among others may suggest an underlying sleep disorder. We employ questionnaires such as Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and Stop-Bang to help screen patients with possible sleep disorder and OSAS respectively. Physical examination by the consulting doctor is important to confirm or rule out any underlying neurological, pulmonary or ENT condition.

However, to be able to make an objective diagnosis of OSAS and certain other sleep disorders the patient will then need to be admitted for an overnight test, also known as a polysomnography in a sleep laboratory.

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