Celebrity Health

Reggie White's Foundation Is Changing the World of Sleep Apnea

Snoring can be a huge indicator of obstructive sleep apnea

There are two forms of sleep apnea, but the most common form is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Approximately 4% of the US population have OSA, and this only includes those who are actually diagnosed. With OSA, the patient's breathing is interrupted while they're asleep. With a severe case of sleep apnea, this can happen as many times as 40 times throughout the night. During one of these episodes, the trachea is blocked by the soft palate collapsing for as long as 30 seconds at a time. This makes it virtually impossible to get enough air into the lungs and puts a tremendous amount of strain on the heart.

One of the telltale signs of OSA is snoring. Because snoring is often thought of as an annoying sleep habit, it's not flapped a serious health issue. Actually, OSA is not usually tested until the patient gets complaints from their partner. Aside from snoring, those with OSA report that they also suffer from significant daytime sleepiness.

Those with the disorder also often complain of not being able to retain information, or feeling like they are in a "fog."  Frequent headaches, being accident prone and short-tempered are symptoms as well.