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What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

OSA is a sleep disorder in which your breathing becomes too shallow or stops. If OSA is not treated it can have life-threatening results such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and other problems.

Do I have OSA?

When you came to the hospital, you were asked the STOP BANG questions. These questions assess your risk for OSA. If you answer yes to 4 or more of the questions below you have an increased risk for OSA. 

  • Do you Snore loudly?

  • Do you often feel Tired during the day?

  • Has anyone Observed you stop breathing while sleeping?

  • Do you have, or are you being treated for high blood Pressure?

  • BMI more than 35kg/m2?

  • Age over 50 years old?

  • Neck circumference > 16 inches (40cm)?

  • Gender: Are you male?


If you answer yes to these questions, it does not mean you have OSA. You will need testing to find out if you have OSA. Your doctor may suggest a sleep study to find out what your breathing patterns are while you sleep. 

While in the hospital we ask you to sleep with the head of your bed up to help keep your airway passages open. We look at your oxygen level while you sleep. If your oxygen level is too low, we may give you extra oxygen while you sleep. Some people may need continuous positive airway pressure also called CPAP. This is the most common treatment for OSA. 

What is CPAP?

CPAP is given through a machine that provides air pressure through a mask while you sleep. This pressure keeps your airway passages open which reduces snoring and improves oxygen levels.

CPAP must be ordered by a doctor or nurse practitioner.