OSA stands for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is a common ailment among adults. This is when an individual suffers from abnormal breathing, especially during sleep. Individuals who have OSA usually experiences oxygen desaturation as well.
When a person has OSA, his or her throat's soft tissues collapse causing the airway to be blocked. When this occurs, a person is likely to snore. It is important to note that not all individuals with OSA may show symptoms of snoring and not all snorers have Sleep Apnea.
How do I know if I have OSA?
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 someone else who witnesses 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. Consider all of the following that apply, and share this list with your doctor.
Key signs and symptoms include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Loud or disruptive snoring
- Gasping or choking during sleep
Other common symptoms include:
- Grogginess and morning headaches
- Frequent urination at night
- Depression and irritability
- Large neck or crowding of the upper airway
- Post-menopausal women
OSA is a big health risk.
Chronically fatigued Sleep Apnea sufferers are also known to be a big risk on the roads. We hear regularly of drivers falling asleep at the wheel and either killing themselves or others.
This is why it is important to consult your doctor at the first symptoms of OSA. Your doctor can advise you to take in appropriate medications or have sleep study and then undergo CPAP therapy.
What happens if OSA is not treated?
Possible increased risk for:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease and heart attack
- Fatigue-related motor vehicle and work accidents
- Decreased quality of life