I was in clinic most of the day. I told 2 of the patients that their sleep studies showed "moderate sleep apnea". Both of them looked relieved and said almost exactly the same thing, "so it's not that serious?" This necessitated additional time to explain that moderate obstructive sleep apnea is indeed a significant condition that usually affects daytime functioning as well as cardiovascular health.
I'm not sure why this confusion occurred. Maybe "moderate" means something different to lay people than physicians.
I guess I should change my classification, when speaking with patients, to "mild obstructive sleep apnea", "obstructive sleep apnea," and "severe obstructive sleep apnea" to promote clarity.