Sometimes when we sleep, the muscles that hold the airway
open relax and partially collapse, obstructing the flow of air
slightly. Air passing through the partially collapsed airway
can cause a vibrating sound known as snoring.
Figure 2 Upper airway
Figure 3 Blocked respiration
Who suffers from Snoring?
Approximately 44% of men and 28% of women between the ages
of 30-60 suffer from habitual snoring. It has also been shown
that people with excess body weight, a long soft palate, an
enlarged uvula and large tonsils may be more prone to snoring
than others. Furthermore, 30% of all snoring patients have
OSA(Obstructive Sleep Apnea)
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious condition in
which the sufferer stops breathing during sleep due to a
completely blocked airway, sometimes for up to a minute at a
time. OSA is an extremely serious condition that can result in
extremely fragmented and of poor quality sleep, and should be
treated by a qualified physician.
The Cycle of OSA
The sufferer falls asleep.
Muscle tone in the body relaxes.
The airway narrows and/or collapses, causing breathing
to be difficult or impossible. The collapse of the airway
may cause loud snoring, snorts, pauses in airflow, and
Oxygen levels begin to fall.
They continue to struggle for breath, sometimes for up
to a minute.
The heart rate falls below normal, and there is
decreased oxygenated blood to pump through the body.
The brain senses low oxygen/high carbon dioxide levels
and releases jolt of adrenaline in an attempt to awaken
their brain and body and prevent suffocation.
The sufferer awakens briefly and takes five or six large
breaths breathing in oxygen and blowing off excess carbon
dioxide (CO2). The sufferer typically does not remember
arousal but often repositions him or herself on the bed.
The heart rate speeds up in response to the rush of
adrenaline and is now pumping above normal heart rate.
The oxygen/carbon dioxide levels return to near normal
and their brain allows sleeping to resume.
The sufferer falls asleep and the cycle repeats
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