Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Nasal syndrome (OSAS) is the most common condition (2-4%) in the population. With this syndrome, the airway closes during sleep because of the slackening of the pharyngeal muscles.

OSAS is almost always accompanied by snoring. The partner often notices breathing pauses.

Symptoms and causes



  • Waking up to a feeling of suffocation
  • Problems sleeping through the night
  • Night sweats
  • Frequently getting up to urinate
  • Headache upon waking
  • Daytime: drowsiness, memory and concentration problems, behavioural changes and sexual problems

Possible consequences?

  • Heart and vascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Diagnosis and treatment

Patients in whom sleep apnoea is suspected based on their reported symptoms usually first see a pneumologist.

In most cases, an in-lab sleep study will be recommended.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Nausea syndrome (OSAS) can be addressed in several ways.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is due to a narrow airway. This can be caused by an unfavourable jaw anatomy, pronounced tonsil hypertrophy or being overweight. In 70% of patients, several factors play a role in OSAS.

For moderate to severe OSAS, CPAP (continuous positive pressure ventilation) is the gold standard.

In case of lighter forms, you will be referred for additional testing. Depending on where the problem is located, different treatments will be proposed:

Treatment centres and specialisations

Ear, nose, and throat diseases
Stomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery

Latest publication date: 16/04/2021
Supervising author: Dr Marin Eline, Dr Borghgraef Kristin, Dr Lamont Jan