Contact

 

Telephone: (414) 614-7515

Email: rest@sleepclearnow.com

 

Sandvick DDS & Associates

6070 N Port Washington Rd

Glendale, WI, 53217

Information for Patients

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)? What Causes Snoring?

 

  • OSA is a disorder in which patients stop breathing while they sleep due to an obstruction of their airway.

 

  • The upper airway is surrounded by many muscles, the largest being the tongue. When a patient enters the deeper stages of the sleep cycle, these muscles relax and lose their tonicity which ultimately leads to snoring and potentially OSA.

 

  • Snoring is due to the vibration of these upper airway relaxed muscles. If these muscles relax further, this can result in a collapse of the airway which essentially closes off the throat and thus prevents air from reaching the lungs. 

 

  • If a patient’s airway collapses and results in a cessation of their breathing, their brain will sense the lack of oxygen reaching the lungs and will respond by arousing the patient to a lighter stage of sleep. It is within these lighter stages of sleep that a patient regains the ability to contract your throat and upper airway muscles thus allowing the opening of the airway and resumption of breathing.

 

  • This cycle of suffocation (apnea) and arousal to resume breathing can happen hundreds of times within the course of a night for a given patient. Oddly enough, patients do NOT usually awake from this arousal, thus leaving many patients unaware that they are suffering from OSA.

 

  • OSA has been shown to cause excessive daytime sleepiness, mental impairment, cardiovascular problems, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, impotence, acid reflux, and many other undesirable side effects.

Quick Facts on Sleep Apnea and Snoring

 

  • 1 in every 2 adults snore 

 

  • 1 in every 4 adults suffers from sleep apnea

 

  • However, fewer than 10% who suffer from sleep apnea have been diagnosed