Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is one of the most common sleep disorders, affecting over 20% of the healthy adult population in the United States. Men and women of all shapes and sizes can suffer from OSA without ever knowing it. In fact, it is estimated that 90% of the people who have OSA have never been diagnosed.
OSA has been linked to a variety of other serious risks to your health:
High blood pressure
Excessive heartburn/acid reflux
Accidents at work
The Sleep Study
Just a few years ago, having a sleep study meant spending the night in a hospital or at an independent sleep lab, in a bed that is not your own, and being hooked up to dozens of sensors by a sleep technician who will monitor you all night long.
Today the testing devices that we use are very simple and the studies can even take place in your own home. One of the most common devices fits onto your head much like a baseball cap and has a cannula, which goes into your nose. Other devices may have straps that go around your chest, or oximetery sensors that clip onto your finger.
You will generally wear the device for two nights while you stick to your normal sleep routine and then mail the device back to the sleep lab. The data will be downloaded and reviewed by a technologist. With as little as four hours of sleep time, the device can collect enough data that a team of experts, including a physician who is board certified in sleep medicine, can determine whether or not you are experiencing OSA during the night.
OSA Treatment Options
There are a variety of treatment options available for OSA, although not every option is appropriate for every patient. The best way to deterring the option that is right for you is to discuss your symptoms and sleep study results with your doctor.
Am I at Risk?
Not all snorers have OSA, but almost everyone with OSA does snore.
OSA causes many people to feel tired during the day, even after getting a full night’s sleep.
Spouses or roommates may hear a person with OSA choking or gasping, or even holding their breath during the night.
High Blood Pressure
It is very common for a person with OSA to also have elevated blood pressure.
Not all OSA patients are overweight, but a BMI over 35 increases the risk of OSA significantly.
To find out if you are at risk of OSA, you can answer a questionnaire designed to diagnose OSA at our office. Dr. Mashian will go over the results and discuss further treatment for you.