How do I tell if someone has sleep apnea?

My younger sister occasionally stops breathing when she sleeps. It's more than just a pause between breaths, and she does it fairly often. What are the chances that she'd have sleep apnea? Or could it be something else entirely? I'll be the first to admit that I don't know anything about this. Any ideas?

Update:

Obviously she needs to see a doctor, but more details:

She does snore. Horribly, but then several of her siblings are also pretty bad in this area. She doesn't usually fall asleep during the day, but then she's a very active child, so it's not surprising when she does. I don't think she's unusually tired, though. Any other symptoms?

How long should the breaks between breathing last? And how often should they be occurring to be apnea?

5 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that should be diagnosed by a doctor or sleep study. If your sister stops breathing frequently and oxygen levels drop too low this can cause all kinds of problems. Is your sister falling asleep during the day, while driving, or when in a dark room? Does she snore loudly? Does she suffer from chronic fatigue? If sleep apnea is suspected, she shoudl go to her doctor and be evaluated and sent home with a sleep monitor or scheduled for a sleep study at a clinic.

    Source(s): Been there.
  • 1 decade ago

    The only way to tell for sure is for your sister to go see a Dr and have an overnight test done where they will monitor her all night to see how often and how long this happens. Most people have this and it is more common than you know. It can help if she trys sleeping with a different pillow, and not propped up, and or a nasal opener like Breath right, but she should see a Dr as they will know for sure, and if it is bad then she should as your body needs oxygen and long term Sleep Apnea can cause other issues...be well

  • kr55
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    She would be tired because her sleep would be interrupted. Does she wake up gasping for air? Talk to her about going to a sleep clinic. Sleep apnea is nothing to play around with.

  • 1 decade ago

    i know a nurse and she says i have sleep apnea because i stop breathing for awhile when im sleeping and she keeps saying i need to go to a sleep study so if you think she has it then you should encourage you to do a sleep study because it can be dangerous

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  • 1 decade ago

    More than likely she has sleep apnea but you need to have her go to her doctor just to be sure.

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