Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a condition in which the upper airway collapses repeatedly during sleep. This creates an effect similar to that of being repeatedly choked throughout the night.
During these episodes, sleep is interrupted and there are recurrent dips in the blood oxygen levels, putting stress on the heart. As a result, sleep is unrefreshing and you would typically feel sleepy and irritable throughout the day.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is common and a worsening global health problem. Recent data from the Singapore Health Study estimated that 30.5 percent of Singapore’s population has moderate to severe OSA. As obesity is a risk factor for OSA, the prevalence of OSA is likely to rise further in the face of the worsening obesity epidemic.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is strongly associated with cardiovascular health risks. People with OSA are at increased risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythms, stroke and sudden death.
In particular, OSA has been associated with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure. In addition, OSA also increases the risk of other serious health complications, such as depression, diabetes and cognitive impairment. Many people with OSA suffer marked daytime sleepiness which impairs their executive function at work.
Their sleepiness also puts them at risk of motor vehicle accidents. All the above factors contribute to the significant impairment in the quality of life observed in people with OSA.
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