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Struggling to make sense of your sleep test results? Use this tool to better understand what an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) score is and what it means for your sleep apnea.
The apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is used by doctors to determine the presence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Apnea is when you stop breathing for at least 10 seconds. Hypopnea is when you have a partial blockage of your airway, so your breath is more shallow than normal.
Your AHI score gives you an average of how many apnea and hypopnea episodes you have per hour while you sleep. For example, if your AHI is 2, you have approximately two incidents of hypopnea or apnea per hour for every hour that you’re asleep.
The apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is measured through an overnight sleep study in a lab or at-home sleep test.
Typically, sensors are attached to your body to monitor things like heart rate, brain waves, breathing patterns and oxygen levels. The data is then used to calculate the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep, which gives the AHI score. It is not possible to measure AHI on your own without specialised equipment..
A score of under 5 is considered in the normal range. This means you experience less than 5 apneas per hour. Any score above 5 may be indicative of sleep apnea.
Anytime you have a question on your own AHI score, you should contact your healthcare professional.