What is Sleep Apnea?

Discover Symptoms, Risks & Treatments

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep due to a collapse in the airway.

OSA occurs for a number of reasons. Sometimes the cause is unknown, or it may be due to a combination of factors. Common causes of OSA:

  • Weight gain/obesity
  • Decreased muscle tone
  • Physical makeup of the airway
  • Alcohol and sedative use (in certain people)

OSA Symptoms

Some common symptoms include:

  • Snoring
  • Gasping or choking at night
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Drowsiness while driving
  • Overweight / Obese
  • Restless sleep
  • Poor concentration / Memory
  • High blood pressure

If more than one of the above symptoms are present, you should discuss screening for OSA with your physician.

Associated Health Risks

If left undiagnosed and untreated, over time, OSA may potentially result in the following health concerns:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Result in Motor vehicle accidents
  • Decreased quality of life

CPAP Therapy

The most common and successful treatment for those with OSA is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). CPAP works by blowing pressurized and often humidified air through a special mask worn on the face, which keeps the airway open during sleep.