What is obstructive sleep apnea?

You’re known for your loud snoring, you wake up or your partner mentions that you’ve stopped breathing during the night. Someone mentions that it might be sleep apnea. But what is that?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a respiratory disorder in which adults or children experience a blockage of their upper airways during sleep. Left untreated, OSA increases your risk for hypertension, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and depression.

Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Symptoms of OSA include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Restless nights
  • Insomnia
  • Waking frequently during the night
  • Waking with gasping or choking
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches

The STOP BANG questionnaire is a commonly assessment tool for OSA. STOP BANG is an acronym for:

  • S: loud snoring
  • T: tiredness and daytime fatigue
  • O: observed apnea, or cessation of breathing
  • P: high blood pressure
  • B: BMI > 30
  • A: Age greater than 50
  • N: neck circumference of greater than 17 inches for a male and greater than 16 inches for a female
  • G: gender as men have a higher risk for developing sleep apnea

If you're interested in assessing your risk, take our quiz to get your score.