OSA is a common type of sleep apnea that occurs when muscles relax in the back of the throat that support your soft palate, uvula, tonsils, and the side walls of your throat and tongue. As those muscles relax, your airway narrows or completely closes while you’re breathing. This restricts airflow, which causes lower blood oxygen levels. If this happens, your brain senses that there’s too little oxygen, and wakes you up so that you can breathe properly.
This cycle takes place so fast that the average OSA sufferer doesn’t even realize it’s happening. It continues to play out repeatedly for up to 30 times per hour, all night long, interfering with your body’s ability to reach those deep, restful periods of sleep it so desperately needs. As a result, instead of feeling refreshed in the morning, OSA sufferers feel tired and fatigued.
Most patients with OSA aren’t even aware that they have it, but then feel tired throughout the day because they’re not getting the sleep their body desperately needs. In addition, other common symptoms of OSA include:
Left untreated, OSA can cause or aggravate several medical conditions including type 2 diabetes, liver function abnormalities, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other disorders. Get a diagnosis early.