Journal of Sleep Disorders: Treatment and CareISSN: 2325-9639

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Commentary, J Sleep Disor Treat Care Vol: 12 Issue: 6

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnostic processes

Hiram Manik*

1Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University, Missouri, USA

*Corresponding Author: Hiram Manik,
Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University, Missouri, USA

Received date: 27 November, 2023, Manuscript No. JSDTC-24-128481;

Editor assigned date: 29 November, 2023, PreQC No. JSDTC-24-128481 (PQ);

Reviewed date: 14 December, 2023, QC No. JSDTC-24-128481;

Revised date: 21 December, 2023, Manuscript No. JSDTC-24-128481 (R);

Published date: 28 December, 2023, DOI: 10.4172/2325-9639.23.12.148

Citation: Manik H (2023) Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnostic Processes. J Sleep Disor Treat Care 12:6.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a prevalent and potentially serious sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Characterized by recurrent interruptions in breathing during sleep, OSA can have far-reaching consequences on an individual's health and well-being. This explores the gradations of obstructive sleep apnea, shedding light on its causes, symptoms, diagnostic processes, and the various treatment options available to manage this sleep-related disorder. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is marked by repeated episodes of partial or complete blockage of the upper airway during sleep. These blockages occur when the muscles at the back of the throat relax excessively, leading to the collapse of the airway and impeding the flow of air into the lungs. An apnea is defined as a complete pause in breathing for at least 10 seconds, while a hypopnea is a partial reduction in airflow accompanied by a drop in blood oxygen levels. The recurrent occurrence of apneas and hypopneas contributes to fragmented sleep and leads to oxygen desaturation. OSA severity is often classified based on the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI), which measures the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep. Severity ranges from mild to severe, with different treatment approaches recommended based on the severity of the condition.


One of the hallmark symptoms of OSA is loud and persistent snoring. The sound is a result of the turbulent airflow caused by the narrowed or blocked airway. Individuals with OSA may experience abrupt awakenings accompanied by a sensation of choking or gasping for breath. These episodes disrupt the natural sleep cycle. Sleep fragmentation and repeated awakenings contribute to daytime sleepiness, which can impair cognitive function, concentration, and overall quality of life. OSA is associated with morning headaches, likely stemming from fluctuations in oxygen levels and disturbed sleep patterns. Untreated OSA is linked to an increased risk of various health problems, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and mood disorders.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis of OSA typically involves a sleep study, known as polysomnography. This comprehensive test monitors various physiological parameters during sleep, including airflow, oxygen levels, heart rate, and brain activity. In some cases, home sleep apnea testing may be recommended for individuals with a high likelihood of moderate to severe involves using portable monitoring devices in the comfort of the individual's home therapy is a widely used and effective treatment for OSA. It involves wearing a mask over the nose or both the nose and mouth, delivering a continuous stream of air to keep the airway open during sleep. Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machines provide different pressure levels for inhalation and exhalation, offering a more customized approach to address varying breathing patterns.

Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV) and Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) are other PAP devices that may be prescribed based on the specific needs of individuals with OSA. Dental devices or oral appliances, such as mandibular advancement devices, are designed to reposition the lower jaw and tongue to help keep the airway open. These are suitable for individuals with mild to moderate OSA. Lifestyle changes, including weight loss, positional therapy, and avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bedtime, can be beneficial in managing OSA, particularly in mild cases.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a significant health concern with wideranging implications for both physical and mental well-being. Timely diagnosis and appropriate management are crucial to mitigate the potential health risks associated with untreated OSA. With advances in treatment options and ongoing research, there is hope for improved outcomes and enhanced quality of life for those affected by this sleeprelated disorder. If you suspect you or someone you know may have OSA, seeking professional evaluation and guidance is a vital step toward achieving restful and rejuvenating sleep.

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