Sleep apnea is the reduction of airflow to the lungs during sleep. This may be due to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where the soft tissues in the throat collapse and block the air passage, or to central sleep apnea, where the brain fails to signal the body to breathe. OSA sufferers constantly battle to breathe and are restless throughout the night, seldom achieving refreshing sleep.
Numerous severe health problems are caused by or associated with the condition. To avoid increasing your risk of
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- motor vehicle accidents and work-related accidents
it is vital that the disorder be correctly diagnosed and effectively treated.
Treatment will reduce snoring, which is often troublesome to others, and lack of productivity due to poor concentration and sleepiness can be reversed.
A study and thorough observation of your pattern of sleep, breathing, snoring, oxygen levels, heart rate and body movements is made during an overnight test in a dedicated sleep laboratory.
Before the study, sleep clinic staff will make an appointment with you to discuss all your symptoms in detail, explain how the test is done and assist you with arrangements with your medical aid.
Dedicated technologists perform the sleep study during the night of investigation.
The specialist sleep physician will interpret the results and explain them to you the following morning and suggest various methods of treatment with you.
Therapy is done by means of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). A device delivers a small amount of air pressure to your airways while you sleep, thus maintaining an open airway passage.
If obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed during the overnight sleep study, a repeat sleep study will be arranged, this time with the assistance of CPAP, to determine what the optimum air pressure for your level of seriousness would be.