WHAT IS OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, is a common yet often undiagnosed sleep disorder. It afflicts 4 to 5% of the population worldwide. People who have OSA stop breathing repeatedly because their airway collapses.
Airway collapse may be due to factors such as a large tongue, extra tissue in the airway, or decreased muscle tone holding the airway open. As a result, air is prevented from entering the lungs.
This pause in breathing can happen in 30 times or more per hour. When sleep is interrupted in this way, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other serious health conditions may increase.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE OSA AND I DO NOT TREAT IT PROPERLY?
People who do not seek diagnosis and treatment for OSA may increase their risk for:
- HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
- IRREGULAR HEART RHYTHM OR HEART DISEASE
- HEART ATTACK
- DRIVING OR WORK-RELATED ACCIDENTS
- TYPE 2 DIABETES
HOW IS OSA DIAGNOSED?
Discuss sleep complaints and symptoms with your doctor.
If a sleep disorder is suspected, your doctor will refer you to a sleep specialists for proper evaluation.
In many cases, an overnight diagnostic sleep study, known as polysomnogram or PSG, will be use to determine the course of action and treatment.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR OSA?
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is the therapy of the choice for OSA. It is a non- invasive and can alleviate the symptoms of OSA when used as prescribed.
CPAP devices provide a continuous stream of air flow, creating pressure to keep your airway open. The pressure to keep our airway from collapsing, allowing you to breathe freely while you sleep.
Alternative treatments include surgery, oral appliances, and sleep position modification.