Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is commonly associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the most common sleep disorder. EDS is a major facet of OSA that can persist despite patients receiving adequate treatment for their OSA. Currently available treatments for OSA, including continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and oral appliances, are often underused or rejected by patients. There are several reasons for this such as insurance coverage, discomfort, inconvenience, as well as perceived efficacy. A review by Léger and Stepnowsky (2020) found demonstrated rates of EDS in OSA of 12%-65% using the most commonly reported definition of EDS (Epworth Sleepiness Scale ≥11), and a prevalence of persistent EDS in OSA following continuous positive airway pressure treatment of 12%-65%. EDS manifests in multiple ways with adverse behavioral health outcomes, such as the serious safety issue of falling asleep while driving. There is a 2-3-fold increase in risk for patients with OSA experiencing a driving accident. Thus, EDS in OSA has a significant negative impact on quality of life, increasing socio-economic burden and damaging public health.
In your experience, what are the critical unmet needs associated with excessive daytime sleepiness and obstructive sleep apnea?
1. Leger, Damien, and Carl Stepnowsky. "The economic and societal burden of excessive daytime sleepiness in patients with obstructive sleep apnea." Sleep medicine reviews (2020): 101275.