OSA is a common, yet often undiagnosed sleep disorder. It afflicts 20 million adult men and women in the U.S. People who have OSA stop breathing repeatedly during sleep because their airway collapses.
Airway collapse may be due to such factors as a large tongue, extra tissue in the airway, or decreased muscle tone holding the airway open. As a result, air is prevented from getting into the lungs.
These pauses in breathing can happen 30 times or more per hour. When healthy sleep is interrupted in this way, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other serious health conditions may increase.
OSA can occur in men, women and children of all ages and sizes. Most people who have OSA do not realize they suffer from the condition. Often, it is the bed partner who notices the first signs of OSA.
If you or someone you know snores regularly and has one or more of the following symptoms, it may be OSA. Check all of the following that apply, and share this list with your doctor.
People who do not seek diagnosis and treatment for OSA may increase their risk for: