Sleep Apnea Definition
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, (OSA) is a disease with a potential to end in fatality. Sleep Apnea occurs when the soft tissues of the neck, throat and tongue collapse during sleep, creating an obstruction in the airway of the body. Without a steady supply of oxygen, carbon dioxide rises to dangerous levels. Literally, the sleeper begins to suffocate.
Several breathless minutes may pass until the brain snaps into survival mode. The brain fires a command to the body to regulate breathing. The response is a hallmark symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: the sleeper is jolted into breathing by their own powerful snore, or by the choking and gasping of the body in distress.