What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021
  • Author: Charles E Morgan, DMD, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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OSA is a sleep disorder in which airflow is repeatedly reduced or ceased. The disorder may vary in severity and is often associated with other physiologic problems. These problems include, among others, the following:

  • Altered mood and behavior (depression, lethargy, cognitive and memory impairment)

  • Morning headaches

  • Decreased libido

  • Systemic and pulmonary hypertension

  • Congestive heart failure

  • Sleep-related arrhythmias

Regarding the third item above, a study by Budweiser et al demonstrated an independent correlate between obstructive sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction. [2]

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