What is Sleep Apnea?
What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway structures. OSA is caused by the relaxation of muscles of the tongue and soft palate.
OSA causes people to experience:
- Apnea: A cessation of airflow for greater than 10 seconds.
- Hypopnea: A decrease in airflow lasting greater than 10 seconds, and a 4% decrease in oxygen saturation from baseline.
- Air Flow Limitations: A narrowing of the upper airway.
Prevalence of Sleep Apnea
- 1 in 5 adults has mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- 1 in 15 adults has moderate to severe OSA
- 75% of people with severe sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) remain undiagnosed.
Watch this video about the famous basketball player Shaquille O’neal and how he deals with Sleep Apnea: (Copyright Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.)