Conditions and diseases
Respiratory sleeping problems
Symptoms and causes
What is it?
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, which often results in the partner noticing pauses in breathing.
The symptoms at night are:
- waking up to a feeling of suffocation
- problems sleeping through the night
- night sweats
- frequently getting up to urinate
- headache upon waking
The symptoms during the day are:
- concentration and memory issues
- behavioural changes
- sexual problems
The most common risk factors with respiratory sleeping problems are:
- cardiovascular diseases
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 anea syndrome (OSAS) can be treated in various 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, a CPAP (continuous postiive airpressure machine) 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:
- tonsils: tonsil removal/widening of the pharynx
- tongue base or larynx: mandibular repositioning device (MRD)
- jaw: jaw correction
- back: sleeping position training
Treatment centres and specialisations
Latest publication date: 11/08/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vermeiren Judith, Dr Borghgraef Kristin, Dr Lamont Jan