Sunday, December 20, 2009

UARS and sleep apnea

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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  1. UARS will usually gradually change to sleep hypopnea and eventually obstructive sleep apnea as the patient gains weight and becomes older as the upper airway becomes more flacid. JIM Sleepcare Diagnostics.

  2. Younger and thinner people with small jaws will have UARS, but as they slowly gain weight, they'll progress up the continuum into obstructive sleep apnea. Some people stay stuck in UARS mode, however. Dr. Guilleminault, who coined the term, has stated that UARS people have intact or hyperactive nervous systems, whereas sleep apnea people have underactive nervous systems. UARS patients essentially wake up too quickly, even with a very slight partial or total obstruction, as compared with apneics that stop breathing for 10 to 40 seconds at a time. I have an in-depth article on UARS here:—-the-upper-airway-resistance-syndrome

  3. Hello, I Also have the UARS in the way desribed... tested CPAP and Jaw-holding solutions. This is a severe problem and it really affects my life with at least 10 hourse of sleep to be somewhat functional during day time. I feel like there must be some solution to just widen the breathing whole 1-2 millimeter. Couldnt you do some surgery and put in a thin plastic ring wich is pressing outwards, making the whole bigger or something?

    I've also been thinking of side effects. Is it really good for the brain to never catch really good sleep? I feel like it takes almost all creativity of me.

    Btw whats a bipap?

    Very thankfull for advice/answers.

  4. Hi Joel,
    The bpap is different than the cpap due to the way the air is blown throught the mask. cpap is continous while bpap is timed.
    There is also a product called bipap which is a ventalator made by Respironics.

  5. ok, thank you!!... the link, linked by steven is describing my situation perfectly so I believe as in the case, I need to do the surgery...

    Regards, Joel