Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most frequently seen sleep disorder. OSA is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. An “apnea” is an event where the patient stops breathing. This can happen upwards of 100 times per night in severe cases. With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses people with sleep apnea in order for them to resume breathing, but consequently sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.

Sleep apnea is very common and affects more than twelve million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of forty, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. A major warning sign is snoring. Yet still because of the lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals, the vast majority remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences such as increased risk of:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Weight Gain
  • Development of Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Impotency
  • Poor Quality of life due to constant fatigue and lack of concentration

An easy sleep test can tell you if you may suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Even after the first night of treatment, patients often announce that they feel more refreshed upon awakening than they have in a long time!

Additional information provided by National Sleep Foundation:

Additional information provided by www.sleepeducation.com: