Why Focus on Patients with OSA?

Here is list of the top reasons recently cited by Congress to motivate Medicare to screen new enrollees:

  • OSA is associated with significant morbidity and mortality
  • OSA is a commonly under diagnosed condition that occurs in 4% of men and 2% of women
  • Approximately 25% of patients with congestive heart failure have OSA
  • OSA can cause daytime fatigue and the inability to think clearly
  • Untreated OSA is associated with a three to seven fold increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
  • OSA is significantly associated with stroke, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and heart failure
  • These risk factors have resulted in 2012 proposed legislation to amend Medicare by expanding the initial preventative physical examination to include screening for sleep apnea.

What are the Risk Factors for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

  • Snoring. Many patients with OSA snore; snoring sounds are produced by fluttering of structures of the throat.
  • Older age. OSA occurrence increases with age. 
  • Male gender. In general, men are twice as likely to have OSA. 
  • Menopause. A woman's risk increases after menopause. 
  • Excess weight. More than half of people with OSA are overweight. 
  • Narrow airway. Large tonsils or adenoids or other anatomical structures such as a deviated septum, enlarged tongue, or receding chin can cause a narrow airway. 
  • Chronic nasal obstruction. OSA occurs twice as often in those who have consistent nasal obstruction. 
  • Smoking. Smokers are nearly three times more likely to have OSA

Overall benefits of treating sleep disorders are found in every aspect of a patient’s life

  • A more restorative sleep
  • Feeling more awake with less daytime fatigue and drowsiness
  • An improved mental well-being with less irritability, fewer mood swings and less depression
  • Improved ability to concentrate
  • Improved memory
  • Fewer headaches
  • Less occurrence of gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Fewer complications during surgery and post-operatively after general anesthesia.