Center For Dental Medicine • 2019 Galisteo St, J2 • Santa Fe, NM 87505 • 505.474.4644

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

It is a condition in which the airway to your lungs becomes partially or completely closed while you are sleeping. This causes the oxygen in your blood to decrease, causing stress to your cardiovascular system and brain.

The list of symptoms caused by OSA is long. The most common and well known is loud snoring, but you can have OSA without snoring. There is also gasping for breath while sleeping, and multiple awakenings during the night. OSA causes heart and blood vessel disease that can lead to sudden death. It causes increased blood sugar levels in diabetics. It causes daytime sleepiness and reduced ability to remember. OSA is responsible for many motor vehicle accidents, and is particularly dangerous in professional bus and truck drivers. If you are overweight, OSA makes it much harder to lose weight.

OSA in children

Very young children may have OSA, which is often not diagnosed. This can cause growth and development problems, as well as behavior problems. Their academic performance suffers. They have trouble concentrating and learning. They gain weight. The symptoms of OSA in children are so similar to ADHD that many children are misdiagnosed, and are given medications for ADHD instead of having the correct treatment for OSA.

Children with OSA mayor may not snore. They generally do not sleep well, and are not refreshed upon awakening. They can have dark circles under their eyes. They mayhave enlarged tonsils and adenoids, and be prone to upper respiratory infections.

If you are concerned that your child may have OSA, you can consult with a certified pediatric sleep physician, such as Audrey Wells, MD, who has offices in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Call us

If you are not sure you would like an appointment, we are happy to answer by phone any questions you may have. Call us at 505-474-4644.

If you would like to make an appointment, we feel it is best to do so by phone. Computerized appointment systems try to make you fit the system. We try our best to fit your needs.