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Sleep Disorder: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea - FAQs

1.If a person is suffering from severe snoring and choking episodes in sleep whom should he consult?
He can consult a general physician or a sleep specialist.

2. Can snoring always indicate the presence of obstructive sleep apnea?
There is an entity called primary snoring, where snoring is present without any evidence of obstruction. So snoring on its own does not always indicate the presence of obstructive sleep apnea.

3. Does the therapy with CPAP vary according to the severity of OSA?
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) forms the mainstay of therapy for OSA. The pressures for CPAP are titrated till the obstruction is overcome. So increased pressures are used to overcome severe obstructions.

4. How effective is CPAP?
The effectiveness of CPAP depends on the patient's compliance. If adhered to strictly than symptoms and complications due to OSA disappear with CPAP therapy.

5. If diagnosed with OSA do we have to continue with CPAP therapy lifelong?
The patient with OSA is re-evaluated with his own CPAP instrument to see for effective pressures. He will have to continue therapy as long as obstructive symptoms persist.

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See this recent publication that indicates that obstructive Sleep Apnea - Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). We hypothesized that OSA is independently related to the risk of CAD or death from any cause. In this observational cohort study, patients referred for OSA underwent polysomnography, and subsequent CAD events (myocardial infarction, coronary angiography or bypass graft surgery) or death were recorded. Patients were divided into exposure (AHI 15) and comparison groups (AHI Increased Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Death, Shah NA et al New Haven, CT
sunny1 Tuesday, June 03, 2008

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