Author | Jose Luis Mendez, MD


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, part 2: Reviewing the treatment choices

May 01, 2006

Abstract: The management options for persons with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) include lifestyle changes, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), oral appliances, and surgery. Lifestyle modifications work best in persons with mild OSAHS and may include weight loss and cultivation of good sleep habits, such as not sleeping supine. Before initiating CPAP therapy, polysomnography is recommended to determine the best airway pressure for the patient. Although the benefits of CPAP have been well documented, compliance remains an issue; some difficulties may be alleviated through patient/partner education and close follow-up. Oral appliances, which work by mechanically enlarging or stabilizing the upper airway, are preferred by some patients; however, they are less effective than CPAP at reducing the apnea-hypopnea index. Surgical interventions to alleviate upper airway obstruction can be used in select patients. (J Respir Dis. 2006;27(5):222-227)

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, part 1: Identifying the problem

April 01, 2006

Abstract: Obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) is a common, yet often overlooked, form of symptomatic sleep-disordered breathing. OSAHS is a cause for concern for several reasons, one of which is its association with cardiovascular disease. Risk factors include obesity, hypertension, and upper airway malformations. Diagnostic clues include habitual snoring, witnessed apneas, choking arousals, excessive daytime sleepiness, and large neck circumference. Polysomnography is the definitive diagnostic test; it pro- vides objective documentation of apnea and hypopnea. Since OSAHS may contribute to adverse postsurgical events, consideration of this syndrome should be part of the preoperative assessment of patients. (J Respir Dis. 2006;27(4):144-152)