What do we mean by sleep apnoea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a type of sleep disordered breathing, belonging to a group of disorders characterized by abnormalities in the frequency, and/or depth of breathing whilst asleep
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) occurs when breathing during sleep is interrupted by periodic collapse of the pharyngeal airway, for a minimum of 10 sec, due to decreased muscle tone that would normally support the airway during sleep. Partial collapse results in a reduction of ventilation with decreased airflow (Hypopnea), while complete collapse results in suspension of ventilation with cessation of airflow (Apnoea).
Some patients may also be aware of various nocturnal symptoms including intermittent episodes of waking choking, restless sleep or frequent nocturia. Often the bed partner is disturbed by the restlessness as well as excessive snoring, and witnessed apneas.
Over the long term, patients with untreated OSAHS may also present with co morbidities such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke
TREATMENT FOR OSA
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is often the treatment of choice for people who have been diagnosed as suffering with OSA. This treatment works by preventing the air passage from narrowing or collapsing during sleep.
CPAP equipment continuously and gently blows slightly pressurised air through a nasal mask into the air passage. This prevents the collapse of the airway during sleep.
CPAP is considered the most effective treatment for OSAHS, it requires specialist involvement throughout from equipment selection at initial set up, to adherence monitoring and compliance checks, trouble shooting and long term intervention, as potentially the patient may need CPAP treatment for life.