at Village Smiles

Symptoms & Health Problems Associated with OSA

If you snore, feel excessively sleepy like you could take a nap at any time during the day, have morning headaches, or trouble trying to stay awake while driving, you may have a sleep-breathing problem such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

When you have obstructive sleep apnea, your brain and other tissue and organs are repeatedly deprived of oxygen through the night, night after night. This can cause your health to suffer. Here are some of the detrimental health problems that can be caused or made worse by OSA:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness – leading to auto and work related accidents
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Cardiovascular problem
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Learning and memory problems


Drivers who are sleepy are estimated to have a 13x higher risk of being in a motor vehicle accident than those drivers who are well rested. Being tired while driving is equally as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing that truck drivers be screened for sleep apnea before getting their license. Estimates show that as much as 28% of truckers may be affected by sleep apnea due to sedentary lifestyles and obesity.

Accidents involving OSA do not have to be only motor vehicle accidents. Sleep apnea has been implicated in the following disasters:

  • Metro North Train derailment – December 2013 – Conductor found to have severe obstructive sleep apnea
  • Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster April, 1986
  • Michigan Train wreck November, 2001
  • Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
  • Three Mile Island Nuclear Incident March, 1979

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