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Obstructive Sleep Apnea 101

Submitted by New Jersey Snoring Solutions on Tue 04/01/2014 - 08:57

If you have been told that you are a chronic heavy snorer or if you often wake up each morning feeling more exhausted than when you went to sleep the night before, you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Likewise, if you feel extremely sleepy and fight to keep your eyes open throughout the day, OSA may be the culprit behind your daytime exhaustion.

If left undiagnosed or untreated, OSA can be very dangerous, and even life-threatening. Individuals suffering from OSA may fall asleep behind the wheel of a car or experience an increased risk of certain health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart failure, diabetes or depression.

What Is OSA?

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, a breathing disorder characterized by temporary pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during the night. An OSA attack occurs when the throat muscles that work to maintain an open airway relax, or collapse, while someone is sleeping. The collapsed throat muscles block, or obstruct, the breathing passage, inhibiting air flow to the lungs. This leads to a temporary inability to breathe. Bouts of OSA can occur between five and upwards of 50 times each hour.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea 

The following is a list of sleep apnea symptoms:

  • Loud, excessive, chronic snoring
  • Suffering from a sore or dry throat when you wake up in the morning
  • Waking up from the midst of sleeping with a gasping or choking sensation
  • Frequently waking up to urinate
  • Frequent insomnia or difficulty staying asleep
  • Lack of energy  or feeling sleepy during the day
  • Difficulty staying awake while driving
  • Morning headaches
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Depression, irritability, other changes in mood, inability to concentrate, forgetfulness and /or a decreased libido

Children may also suffer from sleep apnea. Symptoms of sleep apnea in children may include:

  • Poor performance at school
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hostility or anger
  • Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose (during the day)
  • Snoring
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD)

What to Do If You Experience OSA Symptoms

Only a qualified OSA specialist such as West Orange sleep apnea dentist Dr. Ivan F. Stein can properly assist in the diagnosis and treat sleep apnea. However, if you suffer from any of the symptoms above, you should consider scheduling a complimentary consultation with one of the sleep apnea experts at New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions. To set up your complimentary consultation, contact NJ Sleep Apnea Center by calling (855) 949-7667 today.