What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition where a person’s upper airway is partially or completely blocked during sleep. This condition occurs in both adults and children and can affect everyone’s sleep. A blockage can be in the mouth or in the throat, and the brain may not send the correct signals to breathe.
In most cases, people with OSA have several pauses in breathing during the night. They may breathe with a jerk or with a loud gasp. These pauses are not long enough for the body to get a full breath, and carbon dioxide builds up in the body. A person may awaken with a drowsy feeling or feeling like they never slept. The person may also experience daytime fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
Children with OSA have different symptoms than adults. They may have behavioral problems, such as poor growth, difficulty concentrating, and poor performance in school. They may also have a higher risk of accidents. They may also be prone to heart failure.
When a person has OSA, the diaphragm must work harder to breathe. The tongue and the soft palate can also become obstructed, causing the airway to narrow. A person with OSA may also have frequent infections, such as tonsils or adenoids.
If a person has adenoids or tonsils, it may need to be removed. The person may also be referred to an otolaryngologist or pulmonary doctor for further examination. Depending on the severity of the condition, a person with OSA may be treated with a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP machine. A CPAP mask is worn during sleep, and the air is pumped into the airway. This machine can be controlled by a pulmonologist and is usually effective in treating OSA.
A doctor may also perform a physical exam and ask about the person’s sleep history. This can be very helpful in evaluating the persons sleep pattern. If the person has a sleep monitor, it can help the doctor determine whether or not the person has obstructive sleep apnea.
If the person has obstructive sleep and breathing problems, a doctor may recommend that he or she have a sleep study. This test can be done in a sleep center or hospital. It can also be done at home.
There are also several surgical procedures available to treat snoring. However, there is no scientific proof that these surgeries work. The best solution is to treat the underlying condition of obstructive sleep apnea. If the condition is not treated, snoring can become chronic and cause health problems.
If a person has obstructive sleep apnea, they may also have high blood pressure. People with OSA can also have heart failure. They are at higher risk of coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.
Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment based on your sleep condition.