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Diagnosis and Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults

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Background: Characteristics of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experience repeated airway collapse and obstruction during sleep, resulting in partial or complete cessation of airflow (hypopnea or apnea, respectively), oxygen desaturation, and arousals from sleep. The frequency with which hypopnea and apnea occur varies, however, they may happen as often as once each minute. Airway obstruction results in repeated cycles of loud snoring, disruption of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and frequent arousals throughout the night. Typical symptoms of OSA include poor sleep quality, excessive sleeping, and daytime sleepiness, although many patients may be asymptomatic.