• The Sound Sleeper

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: what is it?

Did you know almost 42 million U.S. adults have a sleep-disordered breathing condition?

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a type of sleep-disordered breathing. It is a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway, which causes you to stop breathing as you sleep. This can happen anywhere from a few times a night to a dozen times per hour.

Why should I take sleep apnea seriously?

Sleep apnea causes your airway to collapse—you stop breathing and your brain stops receiving any oxygen. This forces your brain to switch into a flight or fight defensive mechanism to restore oxygen flow.

This is why you may wake up feeling drained, exhausted, or sore. Your brain spent the night fighting to get oxygen, not flowing through the proper sleep cycles.

What symptoms should I look for?

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping/choking while asleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Broken concentration
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Family history of apnea
  • Overweight (BMI of 35+)
  • Large neck size (17+ inches)
  • Have at least one chronic condition

What does sleep apnea do to my body?

When your brain is so focused on opening your airway, it’s unable to complete necessary nightly functions such as remove toxins, sort memories, build energy, and manage blood sugar levels. Your physical, mental, and emotional health suffer when you have untreated sleep apnea.

How can I treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

The most effective treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is Positive Airway Pressure Therapy (PAP Therapy), which uses air pressure to keep your airway open. This virtually eliminates apnea, and improves your sleep and overall health and well-being.

Is there a cure for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

It’s important to note that sleep apneas, including OSA, are not completely cured by airway pressure therapy. However, there have been some cases where people have been able to reduce the severity of their sleep apnea or “cure” it by losing weight or having surgery to remove the excessive tissue.

How do I know what is best for me?

If your sleep apnea is due to your physical health, such as being overweight, losing weight can help relieve your symptoms. However, if your apnea is due to family history, you do not have to be overweight to develop symptoms—it’s just genetics. A medical evaluation by a sleep physician is the best place to start to determine the recommended next steps and available options.

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