OSA is a largely undiagnosed sleep disorder where a person’s upper airway repeatedly collapses during sleep causing them to stop breathing for a period of 10 seconds or longer. A person’s level of OSA is measured by the number of sleep interruptions per hour using the Apnoea Hypopnea Index (AHI) or the Respiratory event Index (REI):

Normal sleep

Mild sleep apnoea

< 5

between 5 -15

Moderate sleep apnoea

Severe sleep apnoea

between 5 – 30

> 30

Normal breathing and obstructive sleep apnoea breathing diagram

The 10 most common symptoms of OSA

Patients who suffer from OSA will generally experience a range of common sleep apnoea symptoms including:

Night-time symptoms

Loud persistent snoring

Witnessed pause in breathing

Choking or gasping for air

Restless sleep

Frequent visits to the bathroom

Day-time symptoms

Early morning headaches

Daytime sleepiness

Poor concentration


Falling asleep during routine activities

If untreated, OSA may also increase a person’s risk of long term conditions such as:

High blood pressure
Heart attack
Heart failure
Type 2 diabetes

*This is not medical advice and we recommend talking to your local health practitioner.

Discover how patients are diagnosed and tested for OSA here

Did you know that nearly 3m Australians have a sleep disorder
and that OSA causes sleep apnoea symptoms in over 10% of the adult population?

OSA-affected Australians can be grouped into two categories:

1. Undiagnosed patients

80% of the Australians affected by OSA are undiagnosed. How many of these patients could be visiting your pharmacy daily?

  • 58% of people with Type 2 Diabetes have OSA
  • 77% of people that are obese have OSA
  • 85% of people with hypertension who take blood pressure medication have OSA
  • 30% of people taking anti-depressants have OSA

2. Diagnosed patients

An estimated 300,000 patients in Australia are already using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. On average, these people need to renew masks every 18 months and machines every three years depending on the brand chosen.

Extending your pharmacy offerings to include a dedicated sleep apnoea program and equipment range means that pharmacies can increase their patients’ quality of life, and address sleep apnoea symptoms.

Finding the undiagnosed OSA patients


Everyday there are undiagnosed OSA patients in every pharmacy. This is why an in-pharmacy sleep services program is such a great channel for sleep testing. With our help, your pharmacy can easily identify these patients and offer them the treatment they need.

Start offering your patients more today with the PSS program.

Contact us here now!

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