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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, also known as OSA, is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person stops breathing during sleep. It is caused by relaxation of the throat muscles; the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses and closes, resulting in blocked airways. A person with that doesn't treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea may stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain--and the rest of the body--may not get enough oxygen.

One of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea is loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Chocking or gasping may follow the pauses. Over time the snoring can happen more often and get louder.

It is more common that a family member or bed partner will notice these problems before you do.

Here are some common symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

  • Fighting sleepiness during the day
  • Dozing of while driving
  • Falling asleep rapidly during a quiet moment when not active
  • Morning Headaches
  • Memory or Learning problems
  • Not being able to concentrate
  • Feeling irritable, depressed or having mood swings
  • Personality Changes
  • Waking up frequently to urinate
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up