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Sleep Apnea

What causes sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common problem where you have disrupted sleep due to obstructed breathing. Many times the obstruction is due to the tongue relaxing and falling backwards resulting in a collapse of the airway. When oxygen levels drop below a certain level the person partially awakens usually with a gasp for air. Over time this problem can lead to serious medical problems such as high blood pressure and strokes. Symptoms of OSA include daytime fatigue, depression, and loss of concentration.

What occurs after diagnosis?

Once diagnosed, there are several treatments available. The most common non-invasive treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Although this treatment is effective many people do not tolerate it well. There are many surgical treatments as well such as reducing the uvula and soft palate or advancing the base of the tongue. The most successful and definitive treatment is, however, advancement of the upper and lower jaw effectively widening the airway.