What is it?

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder. Sleeping with this condition causes you to repeatedly stop and start breathing.

This type of apnea occurs when your throat muscles relax intermittently and block your airway during sleep. Snoring is one of the most noticeable signs of obstructive sleep apnea.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- OSA

Signs & symptoms

Signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

Sleepiness during the day

Snoring loudly

During sleep, there were episodes of stopped breathing

A sudden awakening accompanied by gasping or choking

You wake up with a sore throat or a dry mouth

A headache in the morning

Concentration problems during the day

Changes in mood, such as depression or irritability

Hypertension

Libido decreases

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine the back of your throat, mouth, and nose for extra tissue or abnormalities during the physical examination. Blood pressure and neck circumference might be measured by your doctor.

Additional evaluations can be conducted by a sleep specialist to diagnose your condition, determine its severity, and plan your treatment. It may be necessary to stay overnight at a sleep center to monitor your breathing and other body functions.

Treatment

If you have mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes such as losing weight.

Keep your body in shape.

Alcohol should be consumed moderately, if at all. Before laying down to bed, avoid drinking.

Smoking should be stopped.

Decongestants and allergy medications can be used to relieve nasal congestion.

Sleep on your side instead of your back.

Do not take anti-anxiety drugs or sleeping pills that contain sedatives.

Positive airway pressure. Positive airway pressure may be beneficial to people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. As you sleep, a machine delivers air pressure through a piece that fits into your nose or covers your nose and mouth.

Mouthpiece (oral device). Some people with mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea may benefit from oral appliances instead of positive airway pressure. Patients with severe sleep apnea who cannot use CPAP can also use it. Your quality of life may be improved by using these devices.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

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