Sleep Apnea

Is your breathing irregular, sometimes shallow? Has anyone told you that your snoring has kept them up at night?


What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in which breathing stops and then restarts again recurrently during slumber. 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway temporarily collapses during sleep, preventing or restricting breathing for up to ten seconds or more. OSA patients will commonly suffer from low oxygen levels in the blood, high blood pressure and an overall decrease in the quality of life due to daytime drowsiness and headaches. 

Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. Such events can occur several hundred times a night severely disrupting sleep. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. The term "sleep-disordered breathing" (SDB) includes a spectrum of respiratory disorders ranging in severity from snoring to OSA.

Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep three or more nights each week. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow.

This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.

Prevalence

Over 40 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder, and 20 million suffer from OSA. Despite the high prevalence, 93% of women and 82% of men with moderate to severe OSA remain undiagnosed.

In a community-based study, men were found to be two times more likely than women to have OSA. However, men are eight times more likely to be treated for OSA than women. This suggests that the symptoms of OSA in women are often attributed to other conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and fibromyalgia.

Untreated OSA can severely affect quality of life, health and mortality. Clinical research shows that it is linked strongly to a range of serious, even life-threatening, chronic diseases such as stroke, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and coronary heart disease.

  • 70MM suffer sleep deprivation of which 40MM have a chronic disorder;
  • 20 million OSA patients, only 5% of which have been diagnosed and treated
  • The US OSA market is estimated at $2.5 Billion with an AGR of over 20%
  • Currently, there is a greater than one month patient wait time for sleep lab evaluations. 

SDB affects around 20% of the adult population¹, making it as widespread as diabetes or asthma. However, awareness is low and we believe that about 90% of people who have OSA remain undiagnosed and untreated. Along with an increasing understanding of the morbidity and mortality caused by SDB, this discrepancy has created one of the fastest growing segments of the respiratory industry. 

The Causes of Sleep Apnea

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your airway can be blocked or narrowed during sleep because:

  • Your throat muscles and tongue relax more than normal.
  • Your tongue and tonsils (tissue masses in the back of your mouth) are large compared to the opening into your windpipe.
  • You are overweight. The extra soft fat tissue can thicken the wall of the windpipe. This causes the inside opening to narrow and makes it harder to keep open.
  • The shape of your head and neck (bony structure) may cause a smaller airway size in the mouth and throat area.
  • The aging process limits the ability of brain signals to keep your throat muscles stiff during sleep. This makes it more likely that the airway will narrow or collapse.

 

Let's talk about Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Learn more about why this happens and why it is important to know what it means.

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