Key facts about obstructive sleep apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), affecting more than 3 in 10 men and nearly 1 in 5 women.1

Patients who suffer from OSA often experience partial or full upper airway collapse during sleep, leading to either:

  • An apnoea, which is the cessation of airflow for 10 seconds or more.
  • A hypopnoea, which is a decrease in airflow lasting for more than 10 seconds, with a reduction of 30% in airflow and at least 3% oxygen desaturation from baseline, or an arousal from sleep.

If your patients have sleep-disordered breathing, they are most likely suffering from disruptive sleep, daytime fatigue and a reduced quality of life.


Symptoms of OSA

One of the most recognisable symptoms of OSA is snoring, even though many patients ignore this sign or fail to recognise it as a symptom of a more serious condition.

Other symptoms of SDB may include:

  • excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)
  • poor concentration
  • morning headaches
  • depressed mood
  • night sweats
  • weight gain
  • fatigue
  • forgetfulness
  • sexual dysfunction
  • nocturia

If your patients present with any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to them about SDB and recommend a sleep test. When left untreated, patients with SDB have an increased risk of developing serious chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease,2,3 and type 2 diabetes.4


Helping patients stay on therapy

Adherence to therapy can be the biggest challenge for patients with sleep apnoea. At ResMed, we believe that compliance and efficacy are directly related to comfort. And to maximise comfort, we’ve designed the Narval CCTM* mandibular repositioning device (MRD) to be one of the smallest and lightest oral appliances available on the market.

MRDs have gained recognition over the last decade as an effective solution to snoring,5 as well as a clinically-proven alternative to CPAP treatment in cases of mild to moderate OSA.6,7,8

Other types of SDB

Central sleep apnoea (CSA) is less common than OSA.9 Unlike OSA patients who have partially or fully blocked upper airways that restrict breathing, patients with CSA have a central nervous system disorder. This means either the breathing centre in the brain fails to trigger breathing, or the signal to inhale is not transmitted properly to the rest of the patient’s body.

Mixed sleep apnoea is a combination of OSA and CSA. While mixed sleep apnoea is more common than CSA, it still is less prevalent than OSA.10



  • 01

    Peppard et al. Sleep-disordered breathing affects 34% of men and 17% of women aged between 30-70. Am J Epidemiol. 2013

  • 02

    Bradley TD, Floras JS. OSA and its cardiovascular consequences. Lancet. 2009 Jan 3; 373(9657):82-93. Epub 2008 Dec 26.

  • 03

    Somers VK & al. Sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2008 Sep 2; 118(10):1080-111. Epub 2008 Aug 25.

  • 04

    Botros et al. Obstructive sleep apnea as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. AM J Med 2009 Dec; 122(12):1122-7

  • 05

    Vecchierini MF & al. A custom-made mandibular repositioning device for obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea syndrome: the ORCADES study. Sleep Med. 2016 Mar;19:131-40. doi: 10.1016.

  • 06

    Practice Parameters for the Treatment of Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances: An Update for 2005, AASM report, Sleep 2006;29(2): 240-243. US Guidelines.

  • 07

    Non-CPAP therapies in obstructive sleep apnoea, ERS task force Eur Respir J. 2011 May;37(5):1000-28. Systematic Review. Recommendations (European)

  • 08

    B. Fleury et al. OSAHS treatment with mandibular advancement oral appliance. Rev Mal Respir. 2010 Oct; 27 Suppl 3:S146-56. Systematic Review. Recommendations (France)

  • 09

    Morgenthaler TI, Kagramanov V, Hanak V, Decker PA. Complex sleep apnea syndrome: is it a unique clinical syndrome? Sleep 2006 Sep;29(9):1203-9.

  • 10

    Mayo Clinic. "Mayo Clinic Discovers New Type Of Sleep Apnea." ScienceDaily, 2006 Sept 04.

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