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What is obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)?

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is when a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep
  • Breathing stops because the airway collapses and prevents air from getting into the lungs
  • Sleep patterns are disrupted, resulting in excessive sleepiness or fatigue during the day
 

What causes the airway to collapse during sleep?

  • Extra tissue in the back of the airway such as large tonsils
  • Decrease in the tone of the muscles holding the airway open
  • The tongue falling back and closing off the airway
 

How many people have obstructive sleep apnoea?

  • 4 in 100 middle-aged men and 2 in 100 middle-aged women have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
  • Most OSA sufferers remain undiagnosed and untreated
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is as common as adult asthma
 

What should you do if you suspect you may have obstructive sleep apnoea?

  • See your doctor; evaluation by a doctor specialising in sleep disorders is recommended
  • Have a sleep study done; a sleep study can provide the doctor with information about how you sleep and breathe.This information will help the doctor to determine your diagnosis and treatment options.
 

What happens if obstructive sleep apnoea is not treated?

Possible increased risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue-related motor vehicle and work accidents
  • Heart disease and heart attack
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Stroke
 

What is the treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea?

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
 

How does cpap therapy work?

CPAP treats Obstructive Sleep Apnoea by providing a gentle flow of positive-pressure air through a mask to splint the airway open during sleep.

  • Breathing becomes regular
  • Snoring stops
  • Restful sleep is restored
  • Quality of life is improved
  • Risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and motor vehicle and work accidents is reduced

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a serious, potentially life-altering and life-threatening condition that is:

  • Easily identified
  • Effectively treated

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