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Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is a common condition which is often ignored by most people but it can lead to severe risk factors. These may include Heart attack, Depression, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Memory problems, Stroke, Hormones disruption, increased day time sleepiness causing accidents and many others. If proper measures are not taken for diagnosis and treatment the consequences can be life threatening. Other associated features of OSA are Snoring, Nightmares, Sleep walking, Bed wetting, Insomnia, Depression, Dementia, Epilepsy, Asthma.

One should observe the person who is snoring and should note the symptoms closely for example sudden waking up during sleep, gasping, choking, excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headache, dryness of throat, these are some of the alarming signs associated with OSA. So when these signs are observed one must consult a specialist.

Diagnosis of OSA

The diagnosis can be made by determining the cause of OSA which is done by performing Sleep evaluation, Sleep study and Sleep endoscopy.

  • Sleep study is a test that records a variety of body functions during sleep such as apnea and hypnoapnea events, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, brain activity, air flow, thoracic movement, body position and snoring. These tests are used both to diagnose sleep and to determine the severity of obstruction.
  • Sleep endoscopy – is a special investigation in which endoscopy of upper airway is done in sedation to find out the exact site/ sites of upper airway obstruction in a patient suspected to have Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Areas that will specifically be examined are nose, soft palate, uvula, back of the tongue, throat, epiglottis, voice box.

Treatment Options

Treatment will depend on investigations and need of patient.  Some of the common treatments include:

  1. Life style modification including weight reduction
  2. Surgical management
  3. PAP therapy

In nutshell, Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea can deteriorate ones health and wellness. Early intervention will lead to good quality of life.

Consult ENT & SLEEP APNEA SURGEON today!!!!!