All You Must Know About Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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​The legendary singer-composer Bappi Lahiri breathed his last on February 15, 2022. His medical reports revealed that the cause behind his death was Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). We decode this sleep disorder here.

​What is obstructive sleep apnea?

​According to Dr Prashant Chhajed and Dr Anshu Punjabi from Fortis group of hospitals in Mumbai, "Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) happens when air can't flow into or out of the nose or mouth, although you're trying to breathe."

​OSA is one of the three forms of sleep apnea. The other two are central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea, OSA is the most common of these.

​Who is at risk?

​Advanced age, obesity, family history of OSA, fluid retention around the neck area, use of sleeping pills, sleep deprivation, smoking and alcohol consumption are a few of the risk factors for OSA.

​Medical issues

​If this sleep disorder isn’t treated it may lead to serious medical issues such as hypertension, heart failure, stroke, heart attack (CAD), kidney disease, DM (insulin resistance) and neuro-cognitive dysfunction. It can also worsen any pre-existing diseases and conditions like diabetes.

​How is OSA diagnosed?

​Dr Jayalakshmi T K, consultant, pulmonology, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, on the institution’s YouTube page mentions that the testing is done for two-three things. Firstly, whether there is obstruction at the throat level, which is measured by the sound of one’s snoring during breathing.

​How is OSA diagnosed?

​Second, the chest movements and the oxygen saturation level are monitored. This is to check if the oxygen saturation level is dropping during sleep. Also, the sleep pattern is studied to understand whether the person is getting enough sleep or just a shallow sleep. All these tests fall under a single term called the sleep study.

​Symptoms

​The most common symptom of OSA is heavy snoring, followed by daytime sleepiness. Waking up with a dry mouth, sore throat, or chest pain, morning headache, difficulty in concentrating, and mood changes - these are a few other symptoms of OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea).

​Treatment

​Obstructive sleep isn’t treated with drugs but with the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine pumps air through the throat into the lungs, that ensures the airway is open and the patient gets a good night’s sleep.

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