New Web Site Offers Sleep Apnea Quiz, Information

The Los Angeles-based Aviisha Medical Wellness Institute has launched a new Web site designed to help people find out if they suffer from sleep apnea, a condition the institute says nearly 20 million Americans have, and one that is linked to increased risks for obesity and weight gain, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, asthma and depression. The site includes comprehensive information about sleep apnea and its health effects and treatment and features a short, free quiz designed to give visitors an idea if they have the condition.

According to AMWI, 95 percent of sleep apnea cases go undiagnosed, putting the health of millions of Americans at risk. Yet the institute says people can determine if they have the condition by asking themselves several simple questions:

  • Do you have a high chance of dozing off when sitting in traffic in their car?
  • What about when sitting while reading or watching TV?
  • How likely are you to doze while sitting and talking with someone, or sitting inactive in a public place?

AMWI says that if someone answers yes to more than one of these questions, he or she could be suffering from sleep apnea and not know it. The free online quiz, at www.aviisha.com/sleep-well/quiz, is based on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and intended to measure daytime sleepiness. The institute says it can be helpful in revealing sleep disorders.

According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep apnea is a disorder in which someone has one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes, and can occur as many as 30 times or more an hour. It is usually a chronic condition that disrupts sleep three or more nights each week resulting in poor sleep quality that leads to fatigue during the day. Because most sleep apnea symptoms are somewhat generic, many people attribute their sleepiness, fatigue, stress, and inability to focus to reasons other than sleep apnea.

”We are just beginning to understand how crucial sleep is to overall health," says Dr. Avi Ishaaya, AMWI medical director. "If you are frequently tired, your fatigue could mean that you are at greater risk for a number of life-threatening conditions, including cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Sleep apnea has been directly linked to obesity and weight gain, and many experts believe it is the number one factor for car accidents. So you are not just tired if you have sleep apnea--your overall health is at serious risk. So if someone suspects they have sleep apnea, it is critical to take a sleep test to find out."

In addition to the free quiz, AMWI also offers at its Web site a more thorough Home Sleep Test that users can, for a fee, take online to determine if they suffer from sleep apnea. AMWI personnel evaluate the results of that test and provide a recommended sleep apnea treatment report, with follow-up medical treatment available through the institute or a patient’s own physician.

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