Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The “apnea” (without breath) in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds… and often more. These pauses can last one minute. OSA occurs when there is a blockage of the upper airway and when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe.
Imagine holding your breath for 10 to 60 seconds… and doing that repeatedly through the night. How much oxygen is passing to your brain, and thus to your other organs?
The combination of disturbed sleep and oxygen starvation may lead to devastating systemic damage. The list of medical conditions associated with OSA is extensive.
OSA can cause loss of life, or at minimum, will severely diminish quality of life. It affects the organs and is connected to strokes, high blood pressure, tachycardia, atrial fibrilosis, diabetes, dementia, weight gain and demeanor of people who have this disease. Daytime sleepiness and inability to concentrate are common symptoms of adults and children. Studies show that OSA is a dominant factor in motor vehicle accidents.