What is silent apnea in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Silent apnea may result post-UPPP. Silent apnea refers to a condition in which the vibration of the tissues that caused snoring during airway collapse remains; thus, OSA persists but snoring does not. The decision to reevaluate OSA postsurgically should not depend on a postive report of snoring. If the patient still snores, however, this indicates that the surgery was not curative of obstructive sleep-related breathing disturbance (see the image below).

Sleep-related disordered breathing continuum rangi Sleep-related disordered breathing continuum ranging from simple snoring to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) occupies an intermediate position between these extremes. Note areas of overlap among the conditions.

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