Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common chronic disorder that often requires lifelong care. This occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open during sleep. A person may experiences apneas, hypopneas and flow limitation- repetitive episodes of obstruction of the upper airway during sleep.

  • Apnea: a cessation of airflow for ≥ 10 seconds
  • Hypopnea: a decrease in airflow lasting ≥ 10 seconds with a 30% oxygen reduction in airflow and with at least a 4% oxygen desaturation from baseline
  • Flow limitation: narrowing of the upper airway and an indication of an impending upper airway closure


The prevalence of any OSA is estimated to be 33.9% in men and 17.4% in women – 25% on average

  • 1 in 5 adults has mild OSA
  • 75% of severe SDB cases remain undiagnosed


Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Irregular breathing during sleep (eg, snoring)
  • Nighttime gasping, choking or coughing
  • Unexplained daytime sleepiness
  • Lack of energy
  • Morning headaches
  • Restless Sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Frequent nocturnal urination
  • Depression or mood changes
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Memory impairment
  • Awakenings due to gasping or choking
  • Sore throat or dry mouth
  • Heavy night sweats
  • Memory impairment


Untreated Sleep Apnea is a major independent risk factor contributing to:

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Restless sleep
  • Stroke
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Excessive Daytime sleepiness
  • Depression
  • Impotence
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Increased mortality
  • Obesity


Classification of Sleep Apnea

  • Apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) – Number of apneas and/or hypopneas per hour of sleep
  • Reflects the severity of Sleep Apnea

AHI = 0–5 Normal range
AHI = 5–15 Mild Sleep Apnea
AHI = 15–30 Moderate Sleep Apnea
AHI > 30 Severe Sleep Apnea


Increased risk factors for Sleep Apnea

Untreated OSA may increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes, heart failure and arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats.


What are the Options to Diagnose Sleep Apnea?

  • Home Sleep Test (HST) devices, such as the WatchPAT
  • Sleep lap – Polysomnography (PSG)