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Obstructive
Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder where a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. If OSA is suspected by your doctor further testing (sleep study)
may be required. People who suffer from sleep apnea often stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, often hundreds of times. The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

Symptoms of OSA

OSA most obvious symptom is snoring.  If you find you snore regularly you may suffer from OSA.  Other symptoms may include:

  • Waking up with a very sore or dry throat
  • Loud snoring
  • Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation

 

  • Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • High blood pressure

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that is characterized by the pausing of breathing during sleep. While the number of paused breathing events varies, some extreme cases of OSA can experience up to 300 events a night that can last upward of 5-10 seconds. OSA is very common among people who have high blood pressure, are overweight, men, smokers and individual with asthma.

Obstructive sleep apnea can have very serious health implications due to the lack of oxygen the blood receives causing the heart to work harder. OSA also affects your natural sleep cycle and can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

How is OSA
Diagnosed and Treated?

OSA is first diagnosed via a doctor examination of your nose, mouth, throat and neck.  If OSA is suspected by your doctor further testing may be required. Changing your lifestyle is often the first recommendation. This includes better health, exercising, weight loss, quit smoking and the use of allergy medication and nasal decongestants. A more aggressive approach may be taken which would include the use of continuous positive airway pressure machines, which help keep the airways open during sleep.

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