Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a chronic and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when there is a blockage of the airway during sleep. It occurs as a result of a relaxed soft palate which is often associated with snoring. An apnea blockage can prevent oxygen from entering the lungs for as long as 10 seconds or more which causes the oxygen levels in the bloodstream to fall.
To reopen the airway, the body has to react by waking up and taking control of the throat muscles. Bed partners of people with obstructive sleep apnea often report hearing them gasp or choke for air, and then go back to sleep again. This sleep cycle is repeated throughout the night; in fact, some patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea have been reported to experience blockages hundreds of times each night.
When a person’s airway is blocked, the organs receive less oxygen because there is a reduction in the amount of oxygen circulating in the blood. To compensate, the heart tries to pump harder and faster instead of pumping slowly and steadily as you sleep. This faster pumping increases blood pressure.
Although 18 to 20 million Americans are estimated to suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, it is estimated that only 5-10% of people with OSA have been diagnosed. This is because quite often because most people suffering from the OSA are not aware of their sleep disordered breathing and In most cases, the condition is only noticed by a bed partner or a spouse.
Once detected, Obstructive Sleep Apnea can successfully and easily be treated. Sleep apnea treatment not only offers a remedy to the symptoms of sleep apnea, but can also have a beneficial impact on blood sugar levels, blood pressure and on other coexisting conditions.
For more information about obstructive sleep apnea treatment options, call The Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute at 1-855-690-0563.