Severity of Sleep Apnea
Just how severe is your Sleep Apnea?
A sleep study is used to diagnose sleep apnea. The information gained from the sleep study is analyzed to determine how many times you breathe shallowly or stop breathing altogether at night. The following index is used to classify the severity of your sleep apnea, according to the following criteria:
Apnea-hypopnea Index (AHI)
- AHI: 0-5 – Normal range
- AHI: 5-15 – Mild sleep apnea
- AHI: 15-30 – Moderate sleep apnea
- AHI: >30 – Severe sleep apnea
In order to count the AHI these pauses in breathing must last for 10 seconds and be associated with a decrease in the oxygen levels of the blood or an awakening called an arousal. The AHI is the total number of pauses that occur per hour of sleep. This classification is useful in determining the likelihood of associated symptoms (including excessive daytime sleepiness), the risk of developing serious consequences (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, etc.), and the likely response to treatment.