PAP therapy for OSA
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a commonly encountered chronic disease characterized by repeated airway collapse during sleep leading to nocturnal hypoxemia, sleep fragmentation and daytime sleepiness. Patients usually have important comorbid disorders such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and diabetes mellitus. Snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, and witnessed apneas are the most frequent complaints that bring the patient to a sleep specialist. The gold standard test for the diagnosis is polysomnography. OSA is a treatable disorder. Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy is a very effective non-invasive mechanical treatment method for patients with moderate-to-severe OSA when applied regularly. Objective data achieved during diagnostic polysomnography and titration study assist in the determination of pressure, ventilation mode of the device, and oxygen need for the particular patient. Effectiveness of PAP therapy continues as long as the treatment is being used. PAP therapy prevents both short and long term complications of sleep disordered breathing. Untreated OSA is associated with various adverse health consequences such as stroke, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, and motor vehicle accidents. Compliance during PAP therapy is still an unresolved question and is a limiting factor in treating OSA patients. Since the condition is life-long, it is important to ensure long term use. PAP therapy neccessitates close follow-up, and a multilayered approach using technological and behavioral interventions.