Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA as commonly known is a disorder where there is a partial or complete cessation of airflow despite there being an effort to breathe. This condition is frequently referred to as sleep apnea. Although known as sleep apnea, OSA is one type of sleep apnea caused by a physical blockage in the airway. According to the National Sleep Foundation, across America, more than 18 million adults have sleep apnea with a prevalence as high as 10-20% in habitually snoring children. Obstructive sleep apnea can occur in anyone, regardless of age or sex. Despite having such a large demographic inflicted with this condition, diagnostic procedure and treatment are an easy and available path.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be diagnosed with ease with the assistance of a local sleep center or hospital. Most of the common symptoms to be on the lookout for is; daytime somnolence, snoring at night, waking up gasping for air, and waking up in the morning not feeling rested. Some other conditions worsened by OSA are hypertension, risk of stroke or heart attack, congestive heart failure, and cardiac arrhythmia. While OSA is easy to diagnose, the condition is not something that will go away with time or a simple medication it requires nightly intervention.
Obstructive sleep apnea has multiple treatment options all varying on patient comfort, accessibility to healthcare and the individual’s willingness to treat the condition. As stated by the American Sleep Apnea Association there are a few options for treating OSA such as; positive airway pressure devices, oral appliances, weight loss, and surgical options. The gold standard and the highest success rate of treatment is positive airway pressure devices or PAP for short. CPAP/BIPAP machines deliver positive pressure ventilation through a mask interface that you wear on a nightly basis in order to keep a patent airway during the night. By wearing the device every night with the appropriate prescribed pressure, a notable difference can be achieved. In a scholarly article, “Long-term compliance with continuous positive airway pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnea” a reported 91% of patients felt improved sleep, 88% reported feeling better the next morning and 76% stated they had more energy than before usage. The other treatment options can be beneficial to treating OSA as well but may require some extended testing to ensure proper results are being acquired. Overall obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that could endanger the life of anyone if left untreated, luckily today there are multiple medical sources and treatments for this very common and life-changing disorder.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options.” SleepApnea.org, 2 May 2018, www.sleepapnea.org/treat/sleep-apnea-treatment-options/.
“Sleep Apnea.” National Sleep Foundation, National Sleep Foundation, www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/sleep-apnea.
Wolkove, Norman et al. “Long-term compliance with continuous positive airway pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnea” Canadian respiratory