There are many sleep disorders besides sleep apnea, such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, bruxism and snoring in general. There is one disorder that seems to resemble sleep apnea and that is the Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome or UARS.
UARS is when there is distraction to breathing when sleeping. I know that sounds exactly like sleep apnea but it isn’t. Sleep apnea is when there is blockage but with UARS the airway is strained but not completely blocked there the airway is still open. What then happens is the body works harder to breathe causing ‘arousals’ which interrupts the sleeping pattern. All this increases daytime sleepiness because of the irregular rest obtained at night.
This isn’t a common sleep disorder and it certainly isn’t as common as sleep apnea. But the fix for it is similar. Dental devices, cpap machines and the avoidance of alcohol before going to bed are instrumental in relieving sleep apnea and they are also helpful with UARS.
The question that comes to my mind is whether this is a precursor to sleep apnea. If the blockage in the throat is narrow but not completely blocked, won’t it eventually close entirely as you get older. I don’t know if that is true, but it seems that this disorder could be an early version of Sleep apnea.
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