Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder that where a person stops breathing in their sleep. It occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway. This leads to partial reductions (hypopneas) and complete pauses (apneas) in breathing that last at least 10 seconds during sleep.
This can lead to low oxygen levels in the blood. The brain responds to the lack of oxygen by alerting the body, causing a brief arousal from sleep that restores normal breathing. This pattern can occur hundreds of times in one night. The result is a fragmented quality of sleep that often produces an excessive level of daytime sleepiness. Most people with OSA snore loudly and frequently, with periods of silence when airflow is reduced or blocked. They then make choking, snorting or gasping sounds when their airway reopens.
This is a life-threatening disorder and should be diagnosed and treated. To find a physician in Memphis or Olive Branch, please call 901.683.0044.