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Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs during sleep when there is repeated pharyngeal collapse that obstructs the airway and causes repeated awakenings from sleep. Sufferers complain of unrefreshing sleep and daytime somnolence. Bed partners usually report snoring with apnoeic attacks. Problems with tasks requiring concentration, such as driving, are common. In severe obstructive sleep apnoea the rate of road traffic accidents secondary to sleepiness is increased. A sleep study incorporating respiratory assessment is required to confirm the diagnosis and severity before the decision is made to initiate continuous positive airway pressure treatment. In milder cases, conservative management with weight loss or jaw advancement devices can be trialled first.

Original publication




Journal article


Medicine (United Kingdom)

Publication Date