Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a clinical condition characterized by often partial or complete obstruction of upper airways while asleep, resulting in events of apnea (respiratory breaks of at least 10 seconds) or hypopnea (almost apneas). Decreasing in oxygen levels and night awaking are associated with this condition.
Most common signals and symptoms are snore, respiratory breaks while asleep and excessive sleepiness during the day. Jeopardizing grade is classified as minor, moderate or severe, according to the number of apneas per hour.
Prevalence of OSA in population is considerable and the under-diagnosis is worrying due to associated co-morbidities and to the risk of sudden death.
Diagnosis of OSA is based on clinical history, physical exam and polysomnography (sleep records test). Polysomnography is the exam used for investigation of many sleep disorders, including OSA. Type I polysomnography is the most complex, being carried out in a sleep laboratory, assisted by a technician, and of high cost. Type III polysomnography is, with portable equipment able to carry the exam out at patient's home, presents the better cost - benefit ratio and are suitable to all the cases. Some instruments can be set by the patient with no need for a technician. Studies carried out in USA, Brazil, Canada and European countries have shown that, in patients with relevant suspect of OSA, type III polysomnography with portable equipment is able to make the disease diagnosis.
The most recommended and efficient treatment for OSA is the utilization of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). CPAP is a portable equipment aimed to avoid partial or complete obstruction of the airways during sleep. It works as a silent air compressor, taking environment air up and transferring it through a mask, creating a pneumatic pressure that allows adequate breathing.