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Obstructive Sleep Apnea – South Portland

Put a Stop to OSA

man unable to sleep

Do you struggle to get the quality sleep you need to function during the day? You could be one of the approximately 22 million Americans who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This sleep disorder is characterized by breathing pauses that occur multiple times per hour throughout the night. It is caused by a blocked or partially blocked airway. Fortunately, our team at Mind Your Mouth is here to help you achieve optimal rest. Continue reading to learn more about OSA.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

man sleeping in bed

There are two different types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Both of them consist of repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a more common form of the disorder. This is when the cessation of breathing is caused by tissues in the upper airway obstructing the free flow of air. Someone who has OSA may stop breathing dozens or even hundreds of times each night!

Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

digital illustration of man snoring

There are many different factors that can contribute to OSA. Here are the most common ones that we come across:

  • Obesity: Having excess body fat, especially around the neck, can lead to obstruction of the upper airway.
  • Anatomical Abnormalities: Having enlarged tonsils or adenoids can interfere with airflow.
  • Smoking: Smoking aggravates the tissues in the throat, therefore worsening OSA symptoms.
  • Nasal Congestion: if you find it challenging to breathe through your nose due to chronic allergies or other issues, this increases your risk of OSA.

Possible Complications of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

depressed man in bed

OSA can cause a variety of different complications. Some can even be life-threatening, so it’s important to get checked out. Here are some of the consequences:

  • Altered Reaction Time: OSA interferes with the sleep cycle, leading to fatigue during the day. This can slow down your reaction times, increasing the risk of car accidents.
  • Mood Changes: People with OSA are more likely to develop a mood disorder. It can also increase your risk of sexual dysfunction.
  • Cardiovascular Health: OSA increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious cardiovascular issues.
  • Weight Gain: Weight gain can worsen OSA, and OSA can cause you to gain weight. This is because sleep deprivation increases cravings for high-calorie foods.

When Should You See a Doctor?

woman talking to doctor

Have you noticed that you feel tired during the day, or did your significant other inform you that you have been snoring loudly throughout the night? These are all symptoms that could point to OSA, so it is worth following up on it with a qualified doctor. This way, you can undergo a sleep test and get to the bottom of your symptoms. If you are diagnosed with OSA, a custom treatment plan can be put together to help you achieve the good night of rest that you need.