Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Closer Look at Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring have received growing attention in recent years. But what about their close relative - upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS)?

A sleep-related breathing disorder (SBD), UARS is midway between OSA and snoring. It is not quite as severe as OSA, but more serious than snoring.

All three of these conditions can cause the sound known as snoring. The sound comes from the soft tissues in a person’s throat vibrating against one another.

When snoring without OSA happens, the person’s airway partially closes. This smaller airway can cause loud snoring, but air continues to flow during sleep.

With OSA, the airway completely closes. These airway collapses can cause loud snoring and lead to serious health problems. OSA patients often experience fragmented sleep and have an increased risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

In UARS, breathing problems throughout the night are not as severe as in OSA patients, but the condition can still be harmful. People with UARS suffer many of the same symptoms of OSA.

If you or someone you know snores loudly, feels excessively tired during the day, or experiences any of the signs of a SBD, a sleep study can determine which, if any, sleep disorder is present.

Like with OSA and snoring, dentists can treat UARS using oral appliance therapy.

Learn what Dr. Oz had to say about sleep apnea here.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.