Symptoms, complications and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea

Journal Title: Medycyna Ogólna i Nauki o Zdrowiu - Year 2013, Vol 19, Issue 4


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disease characterized by the occurrence of at least five 10-second pauses in breathing (apnea) or abnormally low breathing events (hypopnea) accompanied with a decrease in blood oxygen saturation by 2–4% per hour of sleep, despite continued, or even intensified, movements of respiratory muscles. The objective of this study was to present the current knowledge of symptoms, complications and methods of treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.OSA is a gradually developing disease; its onset is often imperceptible to patients and their families. OSA symptoms occur both at night and during the day. The most characteristic night symptoms are: snoring, observable apneas, hiccups, choking, “air swallowing” and frequent awakenings. The day symptoms include: morning fatigue, personality changes and cognitive functions disorders, impotence and a decreased libido. Events of sleep apnea causing saturation decrease are a great stress on the organism and lead to severe systemic disorders. The most serious are: cardiac dysrhythmia, arterial hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, blood vessel endothelial dysfunction and metabolic disorders. Increased accident risk is one of the dangerous complications of obstructive sleep apnea. Treatment methods for OSA patients depend on the causative factors, intensity of the disease and the related risk of life-threatening complications. Present-day knowledge of OSA is interdisciplinary and offers possibilities for application both in prophylaxis and in effective OSA therapy.Keywords: obstructive sleep apnea, symptoms, complications, treatment

Authors and Affiliations

Jolanta Szymańska, Magdalena Dobrowolska-Zarzycka


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  • EP ID EP69769
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How To Cite

Jolanta Szymańska, Magdalena Dobrowolska-Zarzycka (2013). Symptoms, complications and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Medycyna Ogólna i Nauki o Zdrowiu, 19(4), 391-396.