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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition in which a patient’s muscles and tissues in the throat and air passage relax while sleeping, and this impedes the flow of air into the lungs due to a blockage of the airway. This can occur many times per night in the sleep cycle and especially during the REM sleep stages. Apnea is Greek for "without breath." 

The scientific standard of an apneic event is the patient must stop breathing for at least 10 seconds per event and have an overall blood oxygen desaturation level of 3 % to 4 percent along with certain potential changes in EEG frequencies and data. If a person has 5 or more of any type of events per hour of sleep then they can be clinically diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. 

The body responds to this lack of oxygen by arousing, or waking from sleep. This cycle leads to the patient being unable to get the needed quantity of restful sleep and results in: 
Constant Fatigue
Difficulty Focusing

Untreated Sleep Apnea is potentially fatal and frequently results in the following serious health problems:
Heart Attacks
High Blood Pressure