Nasal obstructions, although not as common as snoring, is a potentially dangerous medical condition. Sleep apnea affects over 12 million Americans, and 4% of males and 2% of females are thought to have obstructive sleep apnea. Many of these patients remain undiagnosed because the problems occur while they are asleep.
Those who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) will typically snore, but they also have periods of interrupted breathing for 10 or more seconds. Each episode of sleep apnea, which may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour during sleep, decreases oxygen levels in the bloodstream and strains the heart.
Patients with sleep apnea often get poor, restless sleep and feel tired during the day. More serious side effects of sleep apnea include increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, stroke, chronic fatigue, headache, poor sexual performance, and injury from automobile accidents.