Sleep apnea

Up to four percent of the population suffer from the most common form of sleep-related breathing disorders – obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).In these patients,several breathing pauses occur while at sleep with significant drops in oxygen supply. As a result, the body does not recover during the night, leading to daytime sleepiness, difficulties with concentration and sometimes depression. It also increases the riskfor heart attack, stroke and atrial fibrillation.The diagnosis is made by means of nocturnal polygraphy and if necessary by polysomnography in a sleep laboratory. A common treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Through a hose and a nosepiece or facemask constant air pressure is applied through a CPAP-machine to prevent the collapse of the upper airways. Newer machines can automatically adapt the pressure as needed (auto-CPAP).