Obstructive Sleep Apnea

New England CEPAC

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic disorder, characterized by repetitive stops and starts in breathing during a night of sleep. As muscles in the throat relax, partial (hypopnea) or complete (apnea) blockage of the airway occurs, leading to symptoms such as snoring, gasping or choking. Other nighttime events associated with intermittent breathing interruptions include decreased oxygen saturation and arousals from sleep. Consequences of OSA include excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, chronic fatigue and insomnia. Long-term health problems associated with OSA include cardiovascular disease (increased risk of heart failure and stroke), ocular disorders such as glaucoma, memory and cognitive problems, and changes in mood or development of depression.

Interventions of interest:

Home sleep testing
Polysomnography
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
Mandibular advancement devices (MADs)
Surgical procedures
Weight loss interventions

Date of Review: December 2012