Sleep apnea (also called obstructed sleep apnea or OSA) is a condition where the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses into the airways during sleep. This can cut off the normal flow of air, causing symptoms such as snoring, choking, and gasping for air. Often, the interruptions to sleep can be quite subtle and a person does not realize they have sleep apnea until other issues arise. The severity of the sleep disruption varies greatly. Some have their sleep interrupted dozens of times a night and not being aware, while others may find themselves waking up and gasping for air or choking multiple times a night. Snoring is not necessarily a sign of sleep apnea and sleep apnea can occur without snoring.
Anyone can develop obstructive sleep apnea, but it is more likely in people with the following characteristics:
Interrupted sleep can have multiple adverse affects on a person’s health. Too little or poor rest can cause a variety of issues such as daytime sleepiness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Being sleepy or unable to concentrate can also increase a person’s risk of being in a car accident. Sleep apnea is also associated with type II diabetes, obesity, heart attack, stroke, and depression. If the disruption of airflow is severe there
Dr. Nikpourfard may suggest a device to be used while the patient is sleeping to gently shift the lower jaw slightly forward to help keep the airway open and unobstructed while you sleep. The device is made from state-of-the-art materials and custom-crafted to fit your mouth which makes it very comfortable to wear. Other devices include oxygen masks or devices like a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines to ensure sufficient oxygen absorption.
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