Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder. OSA is characterised by recurrent obstruction of the pharyngeal airway during sleep, resulting in reduced (hypopnea) or complete cessation (apnea) of airflow despite ongoing breathing efforts. These disruptions to breathing lead to intermittent oxygen desaturation, sleep disturbance, and sympathetic activation (Strollo et al., 1996). Consequences of OSA include excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, reduced quality of life, increased risk of traffic and occupational accidents and increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. When patients experience most of their apneic events in the supine sleep position, the term of positional obstructive sleep apnea (POSA) is used. Visit different sections within the Obstructive Sleep Apnea Learning Zone to find out more about the epidemiology, pathophysiology, symptoms and diagnosis and current treatment options.
Get an overview of the epidemiology of obstructive sleep apnea. Who does it affect and what health consequences does this condition lead to?
What causes obstructive sleep apnea? Learn more about the factors that contribute to OSA.
Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. What are the key symptoms of OSA? Discover the tests that can ascertain if this condition is present and affecting a patient’s health and quality of life.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the treatment of choice for OSA, but other interventions can also be beneficial.