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Obstructive sleep apnoea or OSA is a very common condition which occurs when there is the recurrent collapse of the upper airway (throat) during sleep, resulting in repetitive falls in blood oxygen levels and arousals from sleep, this translates to poor quality sleep and results in increased sleepiness during the daytime.
The predominant risk factor of OSA is body weight commonly represented as the body mass index (BMI). The risk of OSA rises as an individuals BMI rises above normal levels
Weight loss is beneficial for people with OSA who are above a a healthy weight, studies show that weight loss is associated with a reduction in the severity of OSA and the degree of daytime sleepiness. There is a good evidence that weight reduction procedures are associated with an improvement in the severity of OSA.
Moderate exercise has also been shown to be beneficial.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a very effective therapy for OSA and many patients may benefit from CPAP in addition to weight loss.