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According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, an estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea with approximately 80 percent of moderate to server cases undiagnosed. It's time to ask:
You may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
When OSA is left untreated, you are more likely to develop hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure and other life-threatening conditions.
What is OSA?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when breathing is disrupted during sleep. Muscles in the back of your throat relax during inhalation, causing your airway to narrow and momentarily stop your breathing. When this happens, your brain sends a signal to wake you, so you'll start breathing again. These interruptions are so brief they usually go unnoticed, but they can occur anywhere from five to 30 times per hour, every night.
There are many options for treatment. You may benefit from a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP (SEE-pap), that delivers air pressure through a mask while you sleep. Another choice is wearing an oral appliance designed to keep your throat open, such as the Winx Sleep Therapy System. For more serious cases, surgery is useful to remove excess tissue from your nose or throat that may be vibrating and causing you to snore, or that may be blocking your upper air passages.