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What is sleep apnea?

What is sleep apnea?
Written by Matthew Hermann

 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a disorder where you have obstruction in your upper airway, causing your to not get the oxygen  you may need at night. This can present as insomnia and poor sleep, which is why seeing a sleep specialist can be important if you continue to have trouble getting to bed.

One of the largest risk factors for OSA is being overweight as excess tissue and weight on your airway can cause obstruction. There are other mechanisms as well outside the scope of this article.

Untreated, OSA can cause problems such as insomnia, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, coronary heart disease, and even heart failure.

While being overweight can increase your risk for sleep apnea, there are other conditions as well. Being African-American, Latino, or Native-American, positive family history, and older age.

If you continue to have trouble sleeping, consider seeing a sleep specialist. You may not only save your sleep, but also your kidneys, heart, and brain!

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5501425/#:~:text=In%20the%20general%20population%2C%20risk,15%2C%2019%E2%80%9321%5D.

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-apnea#:~:text=Unhealthy%20lifestyle%20habits-,%2D%20Sleep%20Apnea,the%20muscles%20involved%20in%20breathing.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109717300098?via%3Dihub