have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder caused by an obstructed airway due to the tongue and soft tissues falling into the back of the throat during sleep. This results in short episodes when breathing is stopped.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last for several seconds to several minutes and may occur five to 30 times or more in an hour.Similarly, each abnormally shallow breathing event is called a hypopnea. Sleep apnea is classified as a dyssomnia, meaning an abnormal behavior or psychological event that occurs during sleep.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Is a serious and lifelong medical condition that affects between 18 and 30 million adults over 18 in the United States, with approximately 90 percent of them undiagnosed. OSA is a chronic, lifelong medical condition that can affect your sleep, health and quality of life. It has been linked to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, work and driving-related accidents, and stroke
It can have a significant impact on quality of life, placing unnecessary strain on relationships between bed partners, among family members and in the workplace.
What Causes OSA?
During sleep, muscles relax, including those that control the tongue and throat. Snoring is often a symptom of OSA and is caused by changes in your upper airway while you sleep. Your soft tissue may vibrate (commonly known as snoring) or it may completely collapse causing you to stop breathing. The soft tissue at the back of throat can sag, narrowing and constricting the airway. Collapsing of the soft tissue is called an obstructive apnea and may last for 10 seconds or more.
Symptoms and Risk Factors of OSA
One of the most common signs and symptoms of OSA is loud and chronic ongoing snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Choking or gasping may follow the pauses. These brief periods of breathing cessation don’t trigger full alertness but disrupt sleep enough to leave sufferers groggy in the mornings — and at risk for a number of more serious health problems — often without even realizing there’s a problem. You likely won’t know that you’re having problems breathing or be able to judge how severe the problem is. A family member or bed partner often will notice these problems before you do.
- Waking up with a very sore or dry throat.
- Loud snoring
- Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
- Sleepiness while driving
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
- Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
- Diabetes or other health problems.