What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

OSA is a Sleep Disordered Breathing ( SDB) condition which occurs during sleep, due to the narrowing or total closure of the airway.

When your airway is narrow, you or your partner may notice that you snore.

Snoring is often no greater problem than the noise itself. However, loud snoring may be a sign of a more serious problem – obstructive sleep apnea.

OSA occurs when the airway becomes completely blocked and breathing stops. The brain then detects the lack of oxygen and prompts a momentary arousal to draw breath.

Although OSA sufferers may experience hundreds of apnea episodes per night, they are unlikely to remember any of them. In fact, if the sufferer lives alone or sleeps separately they may not be aware of their condition, even after many years.

Do You Have OSA?

You may have sleep apnea if you experience these symptoms:

  • Feel unrefreshed upon waking
  • Feel sleepy during the day
  • Cannot concentrate and retain information

Do You Have Insomnia?

When you can’t sleep properly, it's easy to get sleep conditions confused.

Patients often complain of insomnia but the only way to be sure which sleep condition you have is to see a sleep physician. They can perform a test to see if you suffer from this condition.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring occurs when the soft tissues at the back of your throat become too relaxed and vibrate.

The vibrations caused by your breathing results in the snoring sound.

There are several other factors that could contribute to, or be the cause of your snoring:

  • A narrow airway – due to your natural build
  • Weight gain or a large neck-this puts pressure on your airway passage
  • Alcohol -relaxes the soft tissues in your airway
  • Age -muscle tone decreases as you get older
  • Sleep posture -sleeping on your back encourages the muscles at the back of your throat to relax
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea -which snoring is a symptom