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Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Information

Who, What, When & Why?


What?

OSA is a very common sleep disorder affecting both children and adults worldwide.  Causing your body to stop breathing during sleep, OSA occurs when the tissue in the nose and back of the throat caves in and obstructs the airway. 

Why?

Our bodies naturally relax when we sleep.  For apnea sufferers a by-product of this nightly relaxation is the muscles in the throat relax causing a blockage of the airway.  Another by-product of apnea is gravity causing the tongue to fall back and block the airway.   


When?

OSA can happen at any interval during the night.  Some people experience apnea under a dozen times, whereas others can experience it hundreds of times during one night.  Without relief, people can experience groggy and fatigued behaviour throughout the day.


Who?

Both women, men and children experience OSA, however, it is most common in middle-aged obese men.  Weight and apnea are closely tied because weight gain decreases the amount of space air can flow in the back of the neck.   Airflow blockage is a key determinant in the frequency and severity of apnea.