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Sleep Apnea Syndrome


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is also called sleep apnea. It is a condition where you stop breathing for 10 seconds or more while you sleep. During normal sleep, your throat is kept open by muscles, which let the air pass through easily. During sleep with OSAS, the muscles and tissues around your throat relax and block air from passing through. OSAS often happens many times while you sleep. You may wake up during the night to catch your breath. You may feel tired and sleepy the next day, and you may have a hard time doing your usual activities.


Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to have blood tests during your follow-up visits. You will need to work with your healthcare provider to find the right CPAP equipment and settings for you. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Avoid alcohol or sedative medicine before you go to sleep. Alcohol and sedatives can relax the muscles and tissues around your throat, which can block the airflow to your lungs.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Excess tissue around your throat may restrict your breathing. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need to lose weight.

  • Sleep on your side or use pillows designed to prevent OSAS. This prevents your tongue or other tissues from blocking your throat. You can also raise the head of your bed.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You feel tired or depressed.

  • You have trouble staying awake during the day.

  • You have trouble thinking clearly.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.