Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you haven't slept? Are you lacking the energy to tackle the day? Have loved ones spoken to you of loud snoring or gasping for air when asleep?
These could all be signs you are experiencing Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea affects 1 in 4 Australians, yet 80% of people with sleep apnea go undiagnosed and remain at risk.
When your body enters deep sleep, the airway muscles relax causing the tongue to collapse and obstruct the airway. Breathing can stop entirely from seconds to minutes up to 30 times an hour or more.
As your brain senses the depletion of oxygen, the body kicks back into gear allowing you to breathe. This will often sound like gasping or choking, rather than the sound of normal breathing.
This arousal is often so slight you may not even know you are experiencing it and typically, it will be the partner of someone with sleep apnea who identifies these symptoms first.
However, you may notice that you aren't sleeping normally and feel you are lethargic when you wake up as sleep apnea affects the body's ability to rejuvenate in preparation for the day ahead.
Most commonly, structural issues with the jaws are the primary cause of snoring and sleep apnea, and treatment with corrective jaw surgery can provide a permanent cure for these conditions.