What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Apnea literally means “cessation of breath”. In other words, apnea is when you stop breathing. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is simply when your airway becomes obstructed during sleep, causing you to stop breathing. The human upper airway is surrounded by muscles. The largest of these muscles is the tongue. When we are awake we have tightness, or tonicity, in our upper airway muscles, but during sleep these muscles relax.
Recent studies have shown that 1 in 4 adults in the United States (31% of all men and 21% of all women over 18) are at “high risk” for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (based on analysis of the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America survey). It is estimated that the American public spends over $3 billion every year on the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea! This is a serious health issue affecting millions of Americans.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSA) is a serious, life threatening disorder affecting over 18 million Americans. Research estimates that up to 9% of all adult males and 4% of all adult females suffer from sleep disordered breathing, yet fewer than 10% of the people with this disease have been diagnosed. The most recent studies have shown that 1 in 4 adults in the United States (31% of all men and 21% of all women over 18) are at “high risk” for OSA (based on analysis of the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America survey).
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Prevalence and Health Ramifications
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Syndrome is a life threatening disorder affecting over 18 million Americans. 40% of Americans (2 out of 5) snore and 40% of snorers have OSA with no signs or symptoms of the disease.
Serious repercussions /consequences of untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) include:
- Increased risk of stroke
- Increased high blood pressure
- Increased incidence of atrial fibrillation
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Poor memory and other cognitive impairments
- Male impotence and decreased sex drive
- Headaches and migraines
- Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
- Increase in Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Increase in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children
Signs you or someone you love may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Sleep Disordered Breathing:
- Waking up due to gasping or choking
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Memory loss
- Nighttime grinding of teeth
- Restless or unrefreshed sleep
- Frequent waking during sleep
How common is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
- 40% of adults over 40 snore
(approx. 87 million Americans)
- 9% of men and 4% of women suffer from some form of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
(approx. 30 million Americans)
- Less than 10% of OSA sufferers have been diagnosed
(approximately 3 million Americans)
- Of those diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, less than 25% have been successfully treated.