"It is unclear why initial reports from bed partners indicated normal QOL. It is possible that over time, patients and partners adapt to their poor sleep and believe that it is normal or expected," said Dr. Parish. "Patients, as well as their bed partners, should not endure the effects of sleep apnea but rather share the responsibility in seeking treatment for this serious but manageable condition."
Overall physical and mental QOL was categorized by physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health (role-physical), bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role limitations due to emotional problems (role-emotional), and mental health. QOL categories specific to OSA included daily functioning, social interactions, emotional functioning, symptoms, and treatment-related symptoms.
"When left untreated, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can lead to more serious conditions, including hypertension, heart disease, and other cardiovascular complications," said Udaya B. S. Prakash, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. "Sleep medicine has greatly improved in recent years with new methods for diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. It is important for primary care and specialty physicians to educate patients on the health effects of sleep disorders and to inform them of the treatment options available."