Obstructive Sleep Apnea

When Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OAS) occurs, the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat and completely block the airway, cutting off breath and the body’s vital supply of oxygen.

As oxygen levels within the body drop, the brain responds by momentarily awaking the sleeper to resume breathing. This happens so quickly that most people don’t even remember being roused form sleep.

The combination of low oxygen levels and fragmented sleep can cause or worsen a number of health conditions. In addition to excessive daytime sleepiness, studies show that OSA patients have a higher incidence of work and driving related accidents, and are more likely to suffer from strokes and heart problems (heart attack, congestive heart failure, hypertension), and are at greater risk of contracting type two diabetes and many cancers.

When someone has sleep apnea, their snoring may become irregular, and will often be punctuated by pauses in breath followed by gasps for air. If you or someone you know shows symptoms of OSA, it is important to seek qualified professional help, and the Hudson Sleep & TMJ Center can provide that help.

Airway Illustration Crop