Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common sleep disorder of all the sleep disorders. It is characterized by repetitive awakenings from sleep due to obstruction of the airway. These obstructions result in reduced airflow into the airways, therefore decreasing the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. When the brain detects this reduction in oxygen, the individual wakes up (sometimes with a choke or a gasp) which then opens the airway and normal breathing resumes. However, this disruptive sleep pattern cycle continues throughout the night, often going unnoticed by the individual.
Research suggests that aproximately 25% of men and 10% of women present with symptoms and factors associated with having or developing OSA. These statistics make Obstructive Sleep Apnea as common as hypertension or diabetes.
In British Columbia, the prevalence of OSA is increasing mainly due to population aging and rising rates of obesity. Recent studies indicate that 40% of males over the age of 60 show evidence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The most recent population census of South Delta suggests that 57% of the population are over the age of 60. However, Obstructive Sleep Apnea can occur in individuals of any age, weight or gender.
The major symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea are:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can affect anyone, including children. However, there are certain factors that may increase your risk of developing OSA.
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