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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Correctional Medicine

Advisor

Dr. Tom Colletti, DHSc, PA-C

Abstract

Sleep-related breathing disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States, with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) being the most common by far. The prevalence of OSA is estimated to be 15% of the population in the United States. Many patients seek clinical consultation in a primary care setting due to snoring, nocturnal gasping or chocking, and sleep disturbances. OSA occurs when the muscles relax and lose tone during sleep causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse, narrowing and blocking the upper airway, despite an ongoing effort to breathe. Appropriate evaluation and treatment of any obstruction or narrowing is imperative in order to reduce the collapsibility of the upper airway. It is important to properly screen, diagnose, and treat OSA as it is associated with adverse health consequences and an increased mortality rate. Not only has OSA shown to have adverse health consequences and risks, but it has also shown an increase in healthcare costs and utilization. It is essential to know the cost, efficacy, and availability of diagnostic studies for OSA so that patients can be diagnosed and treated accordingly.

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