Introduction to Sleep Apnea


Do you:

  • snore every night?

  • wake suddenly during the night perspiring, choking or gasping for air?

  • wake in the morning with headaches or a sore throat?

  • fight falling asleep during the day, at work or while driving?

  • feel irritable, have memory loss or a lack of concentration each day?

  • suffer with obesity, reflux or high blood pressure?

Sleep disorders are a silent epidemic affecting the world’s population. The debilitating conditions of these disorders include insomnia, persistent sleep deprivation, restless legs syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. Truly fortunate are those individuals who, over an average lifetime, will experience 219,000 hours of restful nocturnal slumber. But for more than one third of the population, each night becomes an endless battle of interruptions caused by lifestyle choices, work schedules or poor health.

It is well documented that disordered sleeping becomes progressively apparent as we age, with 40 percent of the adult population snoring. Chronic snoring is a major symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Unfortunately, 80 to 90 percent of adults with clinically significant obstructive sleep apnea remain undiagnosed. The effects of sleep apnea are not limited to adults; mouth breathing is a red flag for obstructive sleep apnea among sleeping children.

Obstructive sleep apnea poses a threat to your life and has been clinically identified to produce morbid consequences to your body such as obesity, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, depression, dementia and unexplained sudden death. Science has dramatically proven that life ceases to exist within four days without water and two weeks without sleep. Some of the most devastating human and environmental health disasters can be partially attributed to the consequences of sleep loss and sleep-related disorders. They include the tragedy at the Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal, India; the nuclear reactor meltdowns at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl; the grounding of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker; and an error in judgment contributing to the space shuttle Challenger explosion.

Throughout this site internationally renowned sleep apnea specialist Kasey K. Li, DDS, MD, FACS offers professional guidance for improved health with descriptions of warning signs, causes and health risks of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Dr. Li also provides valuable information on how sleep apnea disorders are evaluated and diagnosed, including the latest surgical treatment options