What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea? By G. Brooks Haney, DDS on June 04, 2019

No one can argue that a good night’s sleep is crucial for good physical and mental health. But if you are one of the millions of American who are affected by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you are not getting a good night’s sleep. There is also a good chance you don’t even realize you are suffering from OSA until your sleep partner tells you that your snoring and gasping for breath is keeping him or her from getting a good night’s sleep as well.

OSA is a serious condition that needs to be treated. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, don’t put off treatment. Call our Clarksville, MD practice to find out more about sleep apnea treatment.

What Is OSA?

OSA is caused when something obstructs your airway while you are sleeping. Because the airway collapses, those suffering from OSA can stop breathing many times during an hour—as many as 70 times. As you can imagine, this interrupts sleep, meaning sufferers often wake up exhausted although they might believe they slept for seven or eight hours. The lack of deep, restful sleep can wreak havoc on your health.

What Are the Symptoms of OSA?

Many people snore loudly; others gasp for breath when they stop breathing. Some people are predisposed to sleep apnea because they are overweight—particularly if they are carrying extra weight in their neck area, have a deviated septum, drink alcohol, take certain medications, or suffer from certain medical conditions.

Often people wake up after several hours in bed feeling exhausted, as if they had no sleep at all.

How Can OSA Be Treated?

There are a number of ways OSA can be treated, including the use of a CPAP machine while sleeping. Because some people find this machine cumbersome, though, they often avoid using it. An oral appliance might be all that is needed to keep the airway unobstructed during the night.

If you or your partner think you might have OSA, please give our Clarksville, MD practice a call and we can talk about sleep apnea treatment. Life is too short not to get a good night’s sleep!

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