sleep apnea

Definition of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

OSA is a serious, potentially life-altering breathing disorder that occurs during sleep, and that may lead to life threatening conditions. The upper airway repeatedly collapses, causing cessation of breathing (apnea) or inadequate breathing (hypopnia) and sleep fragmentation. Sleep fragmetation results in chronic daytime sleepiness.

Potental Consequences if OSA left untreated

  • Hypertension
  • Cardaic Arrhythmias
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Stroke
  • Increased risk of MVA and work related accidents

Signs and Symptoms of OSA

  • Obesity
  • Snoring, interrupted by pauses in breathing (apnea)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Irritabiltiy
  • Hypertension
  • Nocturnal angina
  • Depression
  • Morning headaches
  • Nocturia or frequent urination at night
  • Poor judgement / concentration


If a patient's signs and symptoms indicate the possibility of sleep apnea, evaluation by a physician specializing in sleep disorders is recommended. A sleep study is a painless test that provides information about how a patient breathes during sleep. The data that is collected will enable the physician to determine the type and severity of sleep apnea and treatment options.