What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep is supposed to be a time when the entire body relaxes so that it can recharge for another day. Sleep is one of the most necessary components of life from the time we are born until the time we take our last breaths. It is during sleep that the body recovers from the stresses, busyness, activities, and injuries of the day. However, sleep is not as restful for some as it is for others. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder defined as the unconscious stoppage of breathing for short periods of time throughout a night’s sleep.

The body is dependent upon sleep. If you have ever stayed up too late and felt the negative repercussions of missing a few hours of sleep, then you know how negatively the body reacts to an improper amount of sleep. However, it is relatively easy for people to recover from just a night or two of bad sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea, on the other hand, is a reoccurrence of poor sleep, night after night. This sleep disorder can be an extremely dangerous condition that causes negative night time effects as well as complications to daily life. 

The unconscious stoppage of breath that occurs with obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a soft tissue obstruction of the upper airway. This obstruction does not allow for a proper amount of air flow to travel from the lungs to the brain. OSA can cause pauses in breathing that last just a few seconds up to minutes at a time – making this a very scary and serious condition. It is essential that the brain, and the entire body, receive adequate amounts of oxygen at all times; obstructive sleep apnea causes regular interruptions in oxygen supply. 

The classic indicators for OSA are:

  • Obesity
  • Intense snoring
  • Neck circumference < 17 inches
  • High blood pressure
  • Daytime sleepiness and extreme fatigue
  • Family history 

Dr. Mitul Patel and his team at Georgia Dental Sleep Disorders are specially trained in the most advanced technology for obstructive sleep apnea treatment. If you are constantly fatigued, your partner complains that you snore, or you wake up during the night gasping for breath, please contact us today to schedule an appointment. Let the sleep professionals at Georgia Dental Sleep Disorders help you get a better night’s rest.

Posted on Behalf of Georgia Dental Sleep Disorders