Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) refers to any disorder
in which there are breaks or pauses in a person's breathing
during sleep. Most people who have OSA also snore, but not
all snorers have OSA.. Diagnosing OSA needs to be done in
a sleep centre and requires at least one Nocturnal Polysomnogram
(PSG), which measures various physiological functions during
the stages of sleep. A trained sleep technician monitors
the patient continuously during the test. Then, the results
are evaluated by a sleep disorder specialist, a diagnosis
is made and a treatment plan is proposed.
The most effective means of treating OSA is by Continuous
Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). In this highly effective
therapy, a mask is worn over the nose during sleep. Nasal
CPAP provides a pressure splint to the upper airway, allowing
the person to sleep and breathe normally. The airflow required
must be determined through testing during sleep which is
done during an overnight PSG.
OSA left untreated is associated with a much poorer long
term outcome and increases the risk of cardiovascular, pulmonary
and other diseases.
Disruption of sleep caused by frequent interruption of
breathing, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness, irritability,
memory lapses, inattention, personality changes, poor work
performance, increased likelihood of driving and industrial
accidents. Dangerously low levels of oxygen can lead to
potential heart problems and other health disorders, including:
depression, mood changes, memory loss, weight gain, impotency
and headaches. Pressure changes in the throat can lead to
an irregular heart beat. There is an increased risk of high
blood pressure, premature heart disease and stroke.
The Sleep Medicine group of sleep centres provides a fully
comprehensive diagnostic and treatment service for patients
with OSA including Sleep Studies, Titration, Patient Education
and Compliance Monitoring. If you would like more information
please contact us.