What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that is far more common
than is generally understood. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is a breathing disorder characterised by brief interruptions of breathing
during sleep. It owes its name to a Greek word, apnoea, meaning "without breath".
effects of OSA is that a person can stop breathing for periods when asleep. These interruptions (apnoeas), which last for
10 seconds or more, occur when the airway narrows so much that it closes. This stops breathing, and the brain reacts by briefly
waking the subject, causing the airways to re-open and breathing to restart. The individual is usually unaware of this
awakening and this process can be repeated up to several hundred times during the night. Proper restfull sleep becomes impossible,
resulting in sleepiness and impairment of daytime function.
Early recognition and treatment of
OSA is important. The excessive sleepiness associated with OSA impairs quality of life and places people at increased risk
of road traffic and other accidents. It may also be associated with irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and stroke.