> What is OSA?

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What is OSA?

18 Million Americans are estimated to suffer from OSA, a serious disorder characterized by frequent collapsing of the airway during sleep. The collapsing can cause a partial (hypopnea) or complete (apnea) blockage of the airway. The episodes of 'apnea' are followed by sudden attempts to breathe, accompanied by a change to a lighter stage of sleep. The apneic episodes can occur hundreds of times per night. Although the individual may not remember waking up at all, the result is unrestful, fragmented sleep leading to excessive daytime sleepiness and a host of medical problems.

Risk Factors for OSA include:
• Shape of head and neck which may create a smaller than normal airway
• Large tonsils or adenoids or other anatomical differences
• Neck size 17" or more in men, or 16" or more in women
• Obesity (BMI > 25)
• Throat muscles and tongue relax more than normal during sleep, possibly from sedatives/alcohol
• Snoring
• Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
• Hypertension
• Nasal congestion, nasal blockages, and nasal irritants
• Family history of sleep apnea

Other disorders such as hypothyroidism, amyloidosis, vocal cord paralysis, post-polio syndrome, neuromuscular disorders, Marfan's and Down Syndrome

Though these are risk factors for OSA, anyone can have OSA.