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Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Risk Factors and Treatments

It is estimated that nearly one-third of adults in Malaysia attending primary health clinics are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that causes recurrent episodes of apnea or hypopnea.

Risk Factors

People with OSA snore loudly during the night. This is because the muscles that support the tongue and soft palate in the back of the throat relax too much during sleep. As a result, the airway narrows and breathing stops for a few seconds during sleep. This can result in an abnormally high level of carbon dioxide in the blood. This can cause several negative health effects.

People with OSA have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. They may also have a higher risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. OSA is also associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease and a higher risk of high blood pressure. In addition, obstructive sleep apnea is associated with a higher risk of sudden death.

Weight Loss and Exercise

Treatments for obstructive sleep apnea include weight loss and exercise. Exercise is especially helpful for those with OSA, because it helps to improve sleep. Weight loss may also help with reducing the number of apneas. In addition to weight loss, people with OSA may also try sleeping on their side or stomach. Sleeping on their back can lead to the tongue and soft palate falling back into the throat, causing an airway blockage.

CPAP Treatment

Other treatments for obstructive sleep apnea include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and positive airway pressure therapy (PAP). CPAP is the primary treatment for OSA and is most often used to treat moderate to severe cases. This treatment consists of a machine that is connected to a sleeper's face through a tube. The air is supplied through a mask that covers the mouth and nose. It is best if the machine is used as prescribed. This may include using nasal decongestants, antihistamines, and sleep-inducing medications.

Positive airway pressure is a more advanced method of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. This treatment consists of a machine that provides positive pressure at the nostrils. This is considered to be the gold standard treatment for OSA. It also improves the quality of life for people with OSA by reducing their sleepiness and improving their ability to breathe.

Surgical Treatments

Other forms of OSA treatment include upper airway stimulation and surgical correction of anatomic obstructions. These types of treatments can also improve the quality of sleep for people with obstructive sleep snoring. Surgical options include uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, which removes tissue from the back of the throat. This procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia. Some people may also require tracheostomy, a surgical opening in the neck. This surgery may be necessary for more serious cases of OSA.

The treatments above are important because undiagnosed OSA can prevent you from getting a full night of sleep, and may increase your risk of diabetes, heart failure, and abnormal heart rhythms. Sleep apnea can also cause behavioral problems, like attention disorders, which can be dangerous. Consult your doctor or contact The Air Station if you suspect you have sleep apnea conditions.

Contact Us: The Air Station (Malaysia)

Address: Level 9 Menara Summit, Persiaran Kewajipan USJ 1, 47600 UEP Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia Tel: +(60) 1 2240 2893


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