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Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, can cause you to have trouble breathing while you sleep. People who have Down syndrome are more likely to have OSA. In this handout, you will learn about OSA and what causes it. You will also learn why it should be treated.
OSA stands for obstructive sleep apnea. OSA is a medical condition that causes you to have trouble breathing while you sleep.
OSA is very common in people who have Down syndrome. Up to 9 out of every 10 people who have Down syndrome will have OSA.
Doctors will do a sleep study to see if you have OSA. A sleep study, or polysomnogram, is when you stay overnight at the hospital. Doctors check your breathing while you sleep.
You can develop OSA at any time as you get older. Having another sleep study lets doctors check if you have OSA.
Not treating your OSA can make it hard for you to remember things or focus at school or at work. It can make you more tired, depressed (sad) or worried. Not treating OSA can also cause heart problems and make it harder to lose weight.
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