What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the soft tissues at the back of the throat completely collapse, blocking airflow to the lungs. This can reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the brain and the body. When this happens, the brain alerts the muscles in the airway to tighten up and unblock the passage, resulting in many people waking up. This leads to a repetitive cycle of blocking and unblocking the airway, causing significant disruption to sleep. Not only does disruption of sleep occur, but obstructive sleep apnea can also trigger other severe health problems, including heart-related issues, due to the body not receiving an adequate amount of oxygen.
What are the Signs of OSA?
If you have one or more of the following symptoms give us a call:
- Inconsistent breathing during sleep
- Gasping, snorting or choking sounds during the night
- Restless sleep
- Extreme drowsiness or falling sleep easily during the day
- Difficulty concentrating or poor memory
- Morning headaches
- Irritability or personality change
What are the Risk Factors of OSA?
Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in males than females with one quarter of middle-aged men and almost ten percent of middle-aged women being affected. It is more common in older adults, however, anyone regardless of age, can suffer from sleep apnea.
You are more at risk if you identify with any of the following risk factors:
- Use of sleeping pills, sedatives, or tranquilizers
- High blood pressure
- A family history of sleep apnea
What are the treatment options?
- Lifestyle change, including diet and exercise
- Oral appliance therapy using a mandibular advancement device (MRD)
- Continues positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy
- Surgical procedure
What happens when OSA is left untreated?
- Sleep apnea is considered to be a serious medical problem. People with sleep apnea have a higher incidence of high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, heart attack, and stroke.
- People with obstructive sleep apnea have a greater risk of being in an automobile accident.
- There is a risk of lost productivity at home and work from lack of restful sleep.
- There is also a higher risk of depression as a result of decreases in productivity, relationship discord, accidents, and health problems
Research confirms that people with sleep apnea have a higher incidence of the following:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Heart failure
- Automobile or work related accidents
- Daytime sleepiness
- Weight gain
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Springfield, IL 62704