Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Key Facts, Risks and Preventions Strategies | Max Hospital

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Key Facts, Risks and Prevention Strategies

By Dr. Amrit Kapoor in ENT

Apr 01 , 2024 | 1 min read

Almost 11% of the adult Indian population suffers from sleep apnea, with an approximate number of over ten cr adults. OSA is a chronic medical condition associated with repeated collapse of the upper airway during sleep and can affect all ages and genders. 

Men, older individuals and overweight individuals are at the highest risk. Long-standing OSA carries a higher risk of metabolic disorders like hypertension, diabetes, cardiac problems, and strokes and can also be associated with depression, insomnia, and erectile dysfunction

One of the biggest challenges in treatment is the awareness and motivation to actively tackle it. 

In the paediatric population, enlarged adenoid and tonsils are some of the most common reasons for OSA. Kids with OSA are often irritable, hyperactive, have poor focus and impaired learning abilities. Read More: 10 Surprising Facts About Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

The adult population usually presents with tiredness, increased daytime sleepiness, snoring and choking spells witnessed by sleep partners, headaches, an increased dependence on tea/coffee/smoking, and depression. OSA is one of the biggest reasons for road traffic accidents, with drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Obstructive sleep apnea also leads to increased acid reflux and poor control of HTN and DM, leading to an increased risk of cardiac and neurological complications.  

Diagnosis requires a sleep study. A multimodal diagnostic study which studies various parameters of the quality of sleep to help us come to a diagnosis. Mild cases may be managed by simple lifestyle changes and weight loss. Moderate to severe cases require a more proactive approach in the form of CPAP machines, surgery, or a combination of both in addition to lifestyle modifications. Treatment modalities may require the application of a CPAP machine, a single-level or multilevel surgical approach or a combination of both. The treatment requires a multispeciality approach involving the ENT surgeon, a pulmonologist, a physician or an endocrinologist, a maxillofacial dental surgeon and sometimes a cardiologist or a neurologist in a few cases.

In short,  what I would like to say is irrespective of age/gender, increased snoring should not be shrugged off believing that plenty of our ancestors used to snore and day time sleepiness in an individual should be labelled as simple laziness.