Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Snore very loudly at night ?
- Feel very sleepy in the day ?
- Have witnessed episodes of choking and air hunger while sleeping?
You might have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) if you experience any of the above.
What is Obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder that is often underdiagnosed.
Patients with OSA often have unrefreshed sleep due to snoring and other airway disturbances. Very often, the patient’s airway is blocked due to air pressure differences, reduced breathing during sleep.
Patients might experience daytime sleepiness and face with problems concentrating during the day.
If left untreated for prolonged periods of time, OSA can lead to severe complications later in life.
Who should be concerned?
The chance of getting Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) increases with age
It has been shown that males are more likely than females to have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Risks of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is higher with weight gain.
Upper airway factors
upper airway obstruction like enlarged tonsils and adenoids might contribute to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Do you have Obstructive sleep apnea?
Diagnosing Obstructive sleep apnea
You can find out if you have OSA through
- History and examination
- Sleep studies
- In-laboratory polysomnography (PSG) 
- many testing parameters
- done during the inpatient stay and is monitored in the hospital
- high personal and financial expenditures
- Home sleep apnea testing (HSAT). [1 & 2]
- has 4 different classes.
- can be highly accurate (as accurate as PSG)
- can be done in the comfort of your own home so you have a more natural environment
- faster and more efficient
- less resource intensive
What can you do?
Your Obstructive sleep apnea can be treated through different options that reduce sleep disturbances and its effects. Effective treatment will ensure that your airway remains open during sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea treatments should be suitable for prolonged use and be tailored to you.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
Device with a mask connected to a tube and blower to create positive pressure to keep the upper airway open during sleep. CPAP can be adjusted to adapt to changes in your sleep breathing pattern.
Weight loss through diet changes and exercise might benefit patients with weight management issues.
Patients should avoid alcohol as it can worsen sleepiness and Obstructive sleep apnea.
Patients might find dental snoring devices useful, but there are lacking evidence for it.
Surgery is an alternative for patients who do not wish to undergo nonsurgical treatments such as CPAP or dental devices. Surgery can complement other nonsurgical treatments as well.
Why should you care?
What are the Risk Factors of Obstructive sleep apnea ?
Patients with Obstructive sleep apnea might be at risk of many health issues:
1.) Daily living activities
OSA patients experience daytime sleepiness and a lack of concentration, which may affect daily life activities and increase the risk of errors, especially in the patient who deal with machinery.
Road traffic accidents are more common in patients with OSA than without. Patients who operate dangerous equipment are also at risk of serious accidents.
3.) Cardiovascular morbidity
Studies have shown that patients with moderate or severe untreated OSA are more prone to many heart problems such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and heart attack. 
4.) Stroke 
Patients with OSA are more prone to diabetes and diabetes-related complications. OSA may also increase the risk of obesity 
6.) Sexual Health- Studies have shown that OSA is linked to sexual dysfunction in both men and women
7.) Increase in mortality