What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, is a serious sleep disorder in which the person actually stops breathing for at least 10 seconds each hour during sleep and wakes up gasping for air. It is caused by relaxation of the throat muscles and the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses and closes, resulting in blocked airways. Severe sufferes experience hundreds of blockages per night. The patient will wake up choking and it is a very serious and prevalent health problem within our society.
Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
Obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of heart failure by 140%, the risk of stroke by 60%, and the risk of coronary heart disease by 30%. OSA affects more than 18 million Americans and is it more common than asthma and adult diabetes. Adults make up most of the sufferers, with nearly 20 % of adult males and 9 % of adult females afflicted with some form of the disease at some time in their lives. Sleep apnea puts a tremendous strain on the cardiovascular system due to oxygen desaturation, heart-rate and blood-pressure spikes that are caused by interrupted breathing. For this reason and others, sleep apnea is strongly correlated with high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. It is important to treat your OSA so that life threatening cardiovascular events do not occur