People who have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) stop breathing repeatedly during sleep because the airway collapses. Breathing will resume, but the sleep patterns are interrupted and the quality of sleep is poor. Risk factors include: Being overweight, being male, and being 40 years of age and older. However, anyone (both men and women) at any age can develop sleep apnea (OSA), even children, and you do not have to be overweight to have sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can be treated with positive airway pressure. This is a gentle flow of air through the nose by a mask. This flow of air keeps the airway open during sleep. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is considered the gold standard of treatment options for sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can lead to numerous health and safety problems including, but not limited to:
· High Blood Pressure
· Congestive Heart Failure
· Irregular heart beats
· Heart attacks
Sleep apnea can also affect daily performance. This can be noticeable in situations like work or school, and can lead to motor vehicle accidents.