Sleep Apnea Defined
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea. It occurs when tissues in the throat collapse and block the flow of air in and out of the lungs during sleep. there is no airflow despite efforts to breathe. People with OSA struggle to breathe again and again, making restful sleep impossible.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
This results from the brain not signalling the body to breathe. There is no airflow because there is no effort to breathe. Sleep may also be disrupted by CSA.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
This is a combination of central apnea and obstructive apnea.
Possible Consequences of Untreated OSA
- Hypertension/cardiac arrhythmia/myocardial ischemia/infarction/stroke
- Motor vehicle/work-related accidents due to sleepiness
- Decreased quality of life
Signs & Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
- Snoring interrupted by pauses in breathing
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Gasping or choking during sleep
- Restless sleep
- Problem with mental function
- Memory loss
- Irritability and depression
- Large neck, obesity, crowded airway
Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
- The most common treatment is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), pronounced “see-PAP”.
- Other less common treatments include surgery and oral appliances which may be effective in certain individuals.
- Any treatments should include weight loss if needed, exercise, and avoidance of alcohol, sedatives, and hypnotics.