Based on new evidence-based clinical practice guidelines from the American College of Physicians medical doctors treating an unexplained daytime sleepiness condition should assess the patient’s risk and symptoms of having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). According to David Fleming, MD current President of the American College of Physicians “obstructive sleep apnea is a serious health condition that is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive impairment and type 2 diabetes. It is important to diagnose individuals with unexplained daytime sleepiness so that they can get the proper treatment.”
OSA occurs when there is a total or partial blockage of the upper airway. When the air can’t pass through freely, this causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses that are often repeated during sleep. These breathing interruptions can occur frequently while asleep and put your health at great risk. Some symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are: snoring, daytime sleepiness and feelings of exhaustion and fatigue.
According to the new guideline, The American College of Physicians recommends having a sleep study done at a sleep center when OSA is suspected. If the patient is unable to have a polysomnography at a sleep center a home sleep test monitored by a sleep center or a qualified physician is suggested.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute indicate that approximately 18 million American adults have obstructive sleep apneas. It is suspected the increase in the incidence of OSA in this country is correlated to the nation’s obesity problem. Solutions to reduce obesity may help to lower the incidence of OSA.
There is yet another reason to consider a sleep study as soon as OSA is suspected. Prior to being diagnosed, data shows people with OSA visit medical doctors and hospitals more frequently and also spend more dollars on health care. As a result, early detection will not only benefit your health but in terms of overall health care costs will save you money too.
Individuals experiencing daytime sleepiness, fatigue, or any other symptoms associated with potential sleep disorders should make it their priority to discuss this condition with their physician or contact a sleep center.