Obstructive sleep apnea, which is sometimes referred to as OSA, is a serious medical condition characterized by breathing interruptions during sleep. A type of breathing disorder, sleep apnea can be potentially life threatening. Officials estimate ten million Americans have the condition, but have not been diagnosed. Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is obstructed during sleep, cutting off airflow and decreasing oxygenation. Snoring is also caused by airway obstructions during sleep. Males are generally more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than females; children can also have sleep apnea. Your risk for sleep apnea may be increased by:

  • A small or recessed jaw; narrowed airway
  • Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers
  • Advancing age
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Nasal Congestion

In addition to interrupting sleep, sleep apnea can lead to uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, and other medical problems. At the office of Pamela A. Powell, DMD, we provide services that can effectively treat sleep apnea and minimize snoring. For more information, we welcome you to call our Boise, Idaho office today.