Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious and lifelong medical condition that affects between 18 and 30 million adults over 18 in the US¹; with approximately 90% of them undiagnosed. OSA is a chronic, long-lasting 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. With the body constantly waking up every few minutes, it is next to impossible to get the rejuvenating effects of a good nights rest. Multiply this every night for months or years, and you have a condition that is virtually silent and drastic to our health.
It can have a significant impact on quality of life, placing unnecessary strain on relationships between bed partners, family and in the workplace
During sleep, muscles relax, including those that control the tongue and throat. The soft tissue at the back of throat can sag, narrowing and constricting the airway. Your soft tissue may vibrate (commonly known as snoring) or it may completely collapse causing you to stop breathing. Snoring is often a symptom of OSA caused by this change in your upper airway while you sleep. Collapsing of the soft tissue is called an Obstructive Apnea and may last for 10 seconds or more. In severe cases, this can happen 20 to 30 times an hour! It’s hard to imagine a good nights sleep when waking every few minutes. It may be difficult to know this is even happening at night. The only signs you may have are an overly tired and exhausted day; additionally, this can also be a cause or multiplier of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The reason being that the various organs and bodily functions go into stress mode when not having enough sleep, eventually causing disease. See Dr. Osborne for an OSA consultation at Oakwell Dental to discuss this in more detail.