Discussing Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

woman in bed can't sleepThe US National Library of Medicine mentions in an article that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common problem affecting 24% of middle-aged males and 9% of middle-aged females. Among these adults, snoring is a common trait. The prevalence of snoring could indicate the presence of obstructive sleep apnea, and a trained professional like Dr. Stewart can determine your specific needs when it comes to treating your condition.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that describes the cessation of your breathing while you sleep. Usually marked by increasingly loud snoring, OSA occurs when large or abnormally-shaped oral tissues collapse into your airway and impede your breathing. Snoring is the sound of the walls in your throat vibrating is air is forced through a smaller path, and grows louder as that path becomes more obstructed. Eventually, the tissues will completely block your airway, and snoring will cease along with your breathing. Apnea cycles can occur hundreds of times while you sleep, preventing your mind and body from entering the deep REM sleep they need to rest and rejuvenate.

Do You Snore?

Snoring is the leading symptom in identifying OSA, but it isn’t the only one. Other symptoms that can warn you of the sleep disorder include (but are not limited to);

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Sudden awakening from sleep, usually accompanied by shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking up
  • Chest pain immediately after waking up
  • Chronic headaches and migraines, especially in the morning
  • Trouble concentrating during the day
  • Irritability, depression, or other dramatic mood change
  • Mild to severe insomnia
  • Hypertension, increased blood pressure, and other cardiovascular issues

Your symptoms can vary in comparison to others, but if you experience any of the preceding issues on a regular basis, Dr. Stewart encourages you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Treating OSA

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, then you may several options for treating it. A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine consists of a mask worn over the nose while you sleep, and can actively maintain an open airway while you sleep. If you prefer a more conservative, non-intrusive treatment, Dr. Stewart can custom-craft a sleep guard designed to position your jaw forward to keep your airway open at night.


James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.