What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
OSA afflicts 20 million adult men and women in North America. 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, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other serious health conditions may increase.
What are the symptoms?
OSA can occur in men, women and children of all ages. Most people who have OSA do not realize they suffer from the condition. The common symptoms are:
- Restless sleep
- Frequent urination at night
- Morning headaches
- Frequent naps
- Gasping or choking during sleep
What happens if OSA is not treated?
Possible increased risk for:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease and heart attack
- Fatigue-related motor vehicle and work accidents
- Decreased quality of life