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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) ?

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  • 1

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    Dr Peter Solin

    Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician

    Dr Peter Solin is a highly trained authority in sleep disorders medicine and respiratory medicine, having graduated from Melbourne University in 1987 and undertaken specialist … View Profile

    Obstructive sleep apnoea is a situation where the back of the throat begins to narrow, as our brain relaxes at night during sleep. Often it's just mild snoring, but depending on body position, and the calibre of the back of the throat, more substantial narrowing and laboured breathing can occur. This is called sleep apnoea.

  • 3

    Thanks

    Dr Sim Choroomi

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    Sleep apnea is serious form of sleep disordered breathing where breathing stops for periods at night. Once we are alseep and all the muscles relax, the airway can narrow and collapse on itself and cause obstruction. Usually we hear this as just "snoring", however, if this is bad enough to cause breathing to stop for periods and oxygen levels to drop, it could represent sleep apnea. This can be diagnosed by a sleep study which will measure and quantify the severity of the breathing issues. Treatment is variable and tailored to each patient, usually in conjunction with a sleep physician and ENT specialist.

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