Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that can be potentially serious. It's characterized by repetitive nocturnal breathing cessation episodes because of upper airway collapse. It's linked with a significant cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Fortunately, there are numerous treatment options available for efficient management of OSA.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the medical term used when referring to a sleep disorder that is characterized by an intermittent failure to breathe during sleep due to some type of physical obstruction that repeatedly blocks the airway. The body struggles to breathe but cannot – the effort can go on for 10, 20, 30 seconds or more. When the blockage is finally cleared, gasps for air, snorts and/or choking sounds occur as the body resumes normal breathing. Until the block happens again.
For years, individuals with OSA have been treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP); however, oral appliances as a first line therapy for sleep apnea may be able to address a patient’s obstructive sleep apnea without the need for expensive, bulky and uncomfortable equipment.
Do you think you have obstructive sleep apnea? Perhaps you’ve taken a sleep apnea quiz online and realize you have several of the symptoms or indicators, like snoring, morning headaches, or excessive daytime sleepiness.
Maybe your physician has noted your likelihood for apnea based on factors like your BMI, neck circumference, cardiovascular health, or family history. It’s even possible your doctor or sleep medicine dentist has asked you to pre-screen for apnea using the STOP BANG questionnaire—a diagnostic tool that helps physicians screen patients for the probability of moderate to severe sleep apnea.
If you think you have sleep apnea, you may be correct. After all, about 22 million Americans are living with this health condition, according to current figures, and an estimated 80% of these cases are thought to be undiagnosed. You could be one of those undiagnosed cases.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea like 22 million other Americans, you are likely using CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy to manage your sleep disorder. . . Unless, of course, you’re struggling to wear the mask or nasal pillows every night.
If you’re uncomfortable or claustrophobic, you may actually end up sleeping without the CPAP gear more often than you’d like to admit to your doctor. Or maybe you have good intentions and start out wearing your sleep mask, only to wake up and find you’ve pulled it off your face in the night.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you probably know that traveling with a CPAP can be a hassle, especially if you’re flying. The bulky machine, mask, tubing and humidifier chamber take up about half the space in a standard airline carry-on bag, leaving you with precious little room for your clothes and other items.
Leave the humidifier behind and you gain a little extra wiggle room—but then you’re committing to sleeping with dry air coming into your nose and mouth for the duration of your trip.