There are several disorders termed "sleep-related breathing disorders" (SRBDs). These include obesity-hypoventilation, central sleep apnea syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA, occlusion of the upper airway with continued respiratory effort, is the most common and well-known of these disorders.
The primary mechanism leading to OSA is a repetitive narrowing of the upper airway during sleep, followed by an increase in upper airway resistance or complete cessation of ventilation for 10 to 120 seconds. In milder forms of OSA, the sleeping individual may maintain airflow at the expense of increased work of breathing and frequent arousals. As OSA progresses, the respiratory events become more severe; hypoxia (low oxygen level), hypercarbia (increased carbon dioxide level), and dramatic disruptions of sleep occur.
OSA has been strongly associated with several cardiovascular disorders such as systemic hypertension, and there is association with pulmonary hypertension, cardiac ischemia (impaired blood flow to the heart), dysrhythmias, and strokes.
Initial management of OSA emphasizes correction of medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or anatomical factors as well as weight control, and avoidance of sedative medications. Choices regarding treatment are often based on the individual's preference and lifestyle.
The Medifocus Guide on Sleep Apnea provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of sleep apnea?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing sleep apnea?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of sleep apnea?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of sleep apnea?
What treatment options are available for the management of sleep apnea?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in sleep apnea?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for sleep apnea?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about sleep apnea?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
New developments in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea. Thorax. 2000
Cardiovascular disease and obstructive sleep apnea: implications for physicians. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 2000
Cognitive deficits associated with sleep apnea syndrome: a proposed neuropsychological test battery. Sleep. 2000
Sleep-related breathing disorders and cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Medicine. 2000
Recent advances in the sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome. Hospital Medicine (London). 2000
Systematic review of the literature regarding the diagnosis of sleep apnea. Evidence Report: Technology Assessment (Summary). 1999
Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Respiratory Care Clinics of North America. 1999
Medical management of obstructive sleep apnea. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. 1999
Cardiovascular morbidity in obstructive sleep apnea. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. 1999
Diagnostic techniques in obstructive sleep apnea. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. 1999
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