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One of the more common forms of sleep disorder is obstructive sleep apnoea or OSA. This condition involves cessation of breath of decreased in airflow when one is breathing. Obstructive sleep apnoea is characterized by numerous episodes of upper airway collapse during sleep. Each sleep interruption is linked to repeated arousals from sleep. Obstructive sleep apnoea that is associated with excessive sleepiness during daytime is called obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea syndrome or OSA syndrome or
Symptoms of OSA
Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea are not so obvious most especially to the person who has it. In most cases, the condition is present for a long period of time before a patient and his family realize that he needs medical help. In some cases, diagnosing the sleep disorder does not happen.
One of the most bothersome nighttime symptoms is very loud snoring. Apnoeas or cessation of breath also happens and these are almost always interrupted with snort-like snoring. Choking and gasping also occurs as a person with OSA is aroused from sleep. Some OSA patients have nocturia, a condition wherein a person wakes up several times a night to urinate. Insomnia and restless sleep, frequent sleep arousals, turning and tossing in bed during sleep are signs of sleep disorder.
Daytime OSA symptoms include non-restorative sleep where a person with undiagnosed sleep disorder wakes up as tired and as lethargic the night before. Sore or dry throat as well as morning headaches are signs of sleep disorder too. Falling asleep while sitting down, watching TV, reading, doing office work or driving are signs of sleep disorder such as OSA. Feeling fatigue during the day is also a symptom as well as diminished concentration and short-term memory. Other possible signs of sleep disorder are impotence and deceased libido, anxiety, depression, mood and personality disorder. Gastroesophageal reflux and hypertension may also happen.
It has been observed that people with OSA generally have a body mass index (BMI) that is more than 30kg/m2. Women with OSA have a neck circumference that is more than 15 inches while men with OSA have a neck circumference that is more than 17 inches.
A patient suspected with OSA may have:
• narrowing of the lateral airways walls (for men only)
• Increased or abnormal Mallampati score which is an indication for difficult tracheal intubation
• abnormal posterior positioning of the mandible
• enlarged tonsils (3+ to 4+)
• micrognathia which having a lower jaw that is smaller than normal
• high arched hard palate
• large degree of teeth protrusion (overjet)
• systemic arterial hypertension and pulmonary hypertension
• metabolic syndrome
• congestive heart failure
• type 2 diabetes
For correct diagnosis, polysomnography or an overnight sleep study is necessary as standard laboratory tests and other pulmonary function tests are useless in diagnosing sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnoea.
If you or someone you know is suspected to have OSA, PerthCPAP can help. We have the experience and expertise to diagnose OSA