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How Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Diagnosed

Posted May 02 2012 2:52am

Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Main Causes

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a syndrome commonly seen in children and adults. A patient who has this condition stops breathing during sleep and wakes up frequently gasping for air. Structural anomalies of the upper airway, skull or face can cause OSA. People with swollen tonsils, tongue enlargement and acromegaly are at a greater risk of developing OSA. Weakness of muscles around the airway, added thickness of the soft palate and obesity can also cause this disorder. Let us see how obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is diagnosed before physicians recommend the ideal sleep apnea treatment.

Children having facial abnormalities, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, and neuromuscular disorders have a greater chance for developing OSA.

Visible Symptoms of OSA

• Daytime tiredness due to uneasy sleep in the night
• Morning headaches, irritability, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats
• Loud snoring
• Behavioral disorders such as hyperactivity and carelessness are seen in children
• Bed wetting and weight loss in children
• Lack of attention and loss of memory

Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Visit an AAAASF accredited plastic surgery facility where you can benefit from the services of certified plastic surgeon s offering sleep apnea treatment. Diagnostic sleep tests are conducted to arrive at a correct diagnosis whether the patient is having sleeping disorder. Further in-depth tests are conducted to analyze sleep history.

The surgeon will ask detailed questions about medications, period of sleep, headaches, irritability and use of stimulants, alcohol, drugs or tobacco. Recording of sleep behavior in audio/video tape is also helpful to diagnose OSA.

Once the necessary details are collected from initial tests, physical examination is also carried out. The physician will check the soft palate, tonsils, adenoids and upper airway. If any abnormalities are found, appropriate treatment would be recommended.

Other tests conducted to diagnose OSA are:

Nocturnal Polysomnography -- This test is conducted to record eye and leg movements, blood oxygen level, respiration frequencies, heart rhythms and muscle tone during sleep. Brain wave alterations are also recorded using this test.

Oximetry -- A small sensor connected with a computer is used to detect blood oxygen levels.

Epworth sleepiness scale – Sleep disorders can be diagnosed by measuring daytime drowsiness of the patient.

Choose plastic surgery facilities that can guarantee personalized treatment and care. The center should ideally have a skilled team of experts and advanced equipment to meet any unexpected emergency. Early diagnosis and treatment will help avoid worsening of the condition and restore a normal lifestyle.

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