Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is a sleep-related breathing disorder that causes you to stop and begin breathing during sleep. According to the National Institute of Health, it is the most common disorder of its type and affects approximately 936 million adults aged 30 to 69 years. OSA results from a blockage in the upper airway that causes your chest muscles and diaphragm to work harder in order to open the airway so you can get air into your lungs. Breathing often becomes shallow and may stop intermittently.
Statistics regarding OSA
Although it is one of the most prevalent sleep disorders in the US, by recognizing sleep apnea symptoms and employing a sleep apnea treatment, we can lower the risk of several health conditions. The following is a list of 10 startling statistics regarding this sleep-related breathing disorder:
- 1 out of every 4 individuals with moderate sleep apnea won’t experience daytime fatigue or sleepiness.
- 25% of all middle-aged males have obstructive sleep apnea.
- 26% of individuals between the ages of 30 and 70 suffer with sleep apnea.
- African-Americans have a higher risk of developing the disorder than Caucasians.
- At the very least, 2% to 3% of all American children have sleep apnea.
- Estimates have revealed that 75% to 80% of all individuals suffering with moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea remain unidentified.
- Individuals who suffer with sleep apnea are 4 times more likely to suffer a stroke.
- More than 38,000 individuals will die from cardiovascular problems associated with sleep apnea every year.
- Roughly 25 million Americans suffer with sleep apnea.
- The total yearly cost of sleep apnea here in the US ranges from $65 billion on the low end to upwards of $165 billion on the high end.
Based on the above statistics, it could easily be said that we are in the middle of a “sleep epidemic.” The average American gets approximately 7 hours of sleep every night while 40% for 6 hours or less. As it currently stands, there are approximately 50 to 70 million individuals in the US that have some type of sleeping disorder and OSA is one of the most prevalent ones.
What causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea typically occurs when the muscles controlling your airway relax and narrow the throat opening. In most cases, you’ll wake up to reopen the airways but it’s likely that you won’t remember doing this. Even worse is the fact that this could happen dozens of times every hour. There are other factors that can block your airway and cause OSA such as health problems like congestive heart failure, an endocrine disorder, enlarged adenoids or tonsils, and obesity.
What are the Symptoms of OSA?
The more common symptoms or warning signs of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- chronic snoring
- crankiness, depression, difficulties concentrating, and forgetfulness
- daytime fatigue, drowsiness, or sleepiness
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- morning headaches
- night sweats
- restlessness while sleeping
- sexual problems such as a low sex drive
- trouble waking up in the morning
- waking up often to urinate
- waking up suddenly from choking or gasping
- waking up with a dry mouth or a sore throat
If you have a sleep partner, chances are they’ll most likely notice your OSA symptoms before you’re aware of them.
Are there any Treatments for OSA?
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea symptoms, don’t despair. There are several forms of treatment that can help. Obstructive sleep apnea treatment modalities include lifestyle changes mandibular advancement devices (dental appliances), mechanical therapies, and several surgical procedures as follows:
Although this is a long-term goal to achieve, it does not hurt to make the necessary changes to your life style to stop snoring. You might want to consider some of these to ensure you have a restful night’s sleep:
- avoid certain medications such as opioids and OTC sleeping pills
- change your sleeping position
- don’t drink alcohol before bedtime
- exercise more often
- lose weight
- stop smoking
Though you might not notice the change in your snoring patterns overnight but within a few days, it can help you.
Mandibular advancement devices (MAD):
These dental appliances are prescribed and recommended for individuals with mild to moderate OSA. These devices prevent the tongue from blocking the airway by pushing the lower jaw forward, thereby keeping the airway open as you sleep. In most cases, these devices are recommended by a dentist and sleep therapist who jointly determine this to be the optimum treatment.
There are other mechanical devices that help to ensure that you get proper supply of air to breathe when you are asleep. These are usually prescribed by the doctor after a sleep lab test is done:
- Adaptive Servo-Ventilation or ASV
- Auto bi-level PAP or auto CPAP devices
- Bi-level PAP devices
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP devices
Although most people stop snoring with different over the counter remedies, there are many others that need surgical intervention to stop snoring. This is due to physical issues that were a cause for their snoring and needs to be corrected. Some of these surgical procedures include:
- Adenoidectomy or tonsillectomy
- Mandibular/maxillary advancement surgery (a surgical procedure that corrects facial abnormalities and obstructions of the throat that contribute to OSA)
- Nasal surgery (corrects nasal obstructions such as a deviated septum)
- Somnoplasty (utilizes radiofrequency energy reduce excess upper airway tissue)
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP (removes the soft tissue at the back of the palate and throat, thereby increasing airway width)
Solution for Chronic Snoring
If you’re a chronic snorer, whether it’s attributed to sleep apnea or not, Asonor has a solution. Asonor Anti-snoring Solution is a treatment for chronic snoring that was clinically proven to be effective in 3 out of every 4 or 75% of all cases studied. To learn more about this fantastically effective product, visit our website or click here to e-mail your message to us. Our business representatives are available to take your calls.