From Press Reports
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. It is potentially a very serious disease.
Of the types of sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. It occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep. Snoring is the most recognized sign of obstructive sleep apnea, but not everyone who has sleep apnea does snore.
Obstructive sleep apnea is most commonly found in older adults and those that are overweight, but the disorder can affect anyone.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
- Loud snoring
- Observed episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath
- Awakening with dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Frequent urination at night
- Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
- Even though anyone can develop obstructive sleep apnea, there are factors that put you at greater risk:
- Excess weight
- Neck circumference (greater than 17 inches in men and greater than 15 inches in women puts you at greater risk)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- A narrowed airway
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Being male
- Being black, Hispanic or a Pacific islander
- Being older
- A family history of sleep apnea
- Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers
Obstructive sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. It may lead to or include cardiovascular problems, daytime fatigue, complications with medications and surgery, and may lead to sleep-deprived partners.
North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora’s Sleep Disorders Center is fully accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicines to provide help for people with sleep disorders. Home-like accommodations and two beds are available for patients. Services are available through physician referral. For more information, call 258-6221.