What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
OSA afflicts 20 million adult men and women in the U.S. People who have OSA stop breathing repeatedly during sleep because the airway collapses. Airway collapse may be due to such factors as a large tongue, extra tissue in the airway, or decreased muscle tone holding the airway open. As a result, air is prevented from getting into the lungs.
These pauses in breathing can happen 30 times or more per hour. When healthy sleep is interrupted in this way, it puts a strain on the heart and can lead to a number of serious health condtions.
How do I know if I have OSA?
OSA can occur in men, women and children of all ages and sizes. Most people who have OSA do not realize they suffer from the condition. Often, it is someone else who witness the first signs of OSA.
If you or someon you know snores regularly and has one or more of the following symptoms, it may be OSA. Check all of the following that apply, and share this list with your doctor.
Key signs and symptoms include:
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Loud or disruptive snoring
Gasping or choking during sleep
Other common symptoms include:
Grogginess and moring headaches
Frequent urination at night
Depression and irritability
Large neck or crowding of the upper airway
What happens if I have OSA and I don’t treat it properly:
People who do not seek diagnosis and effective treatment for OSA can be at risk for:
High blood pressure
Irregular heart rhythms or heart disease
Increased likelihood of driving or work-related accidents