Learn the Facts

There are two major sleep disorders with symptoms so similar they may go misdiagnosed. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, occurs when the throat muscles relax and block the airway during sleep. Symptoms for OSA include excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, gasping or choking, headaches, difficulty concentrating and mood changes.

Upper airway resistance syndrome, or UARS, is when the throat muscles relax to reduce the size of the airway; it is very similar to OSA but does not fully meet the criteria to be categorized as OSA. Symptoms for UARS include excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep and frequent arousal out of sleep. While the symptoms of OSA and UARS are quite similar, one main difference that you will see in patients with UARS is teeth grinding or clenching.

Seek Treatment

Treatment for UARS and OSA is different. For UARS, dental or oral appliances are the primary form of treatment, in addition to lifestyle and behavior changes. Leaving UARS untreated can allow it to progress to a diagnosis of OSA. Treatment for OSA most commonly comes in the form of continuous positive airway pressure treatment, or CPAP treatment.

The main types of CPAP machines that are prescribed are fixed pressure CPAP machines and auto CPAP machines. Dental appliances must be prescribed by a dental professional while CPAP machines can be prescribed by a primary care physician or a sleep doctor. If you suspect that you might have a sleep disorder, speak with your physician about taking a sleep study to confirm if you have OSA or UARS. Once you have a diagnosis you will know how to proceed with seeking treatment.

Find the Right CPAP Machine

If your UARS ultimately progresses in to OSA you will want to seek further treatment. A medical equipment supplier, such as will carry anything and everything you might need to treat your OSA. CPAP machines and supplies can be purchased through self pay or you can qualify through insurance for your equipment. If you have further questions about OSA, submit your questions to a registered CPAP clinician via the Ask a CPAP Clinician tool.

UARS and OSA are both serious sleep conditions that should be treated as soon as they are diagnosed. Finding treatment for your sleep disorders will make a huge difference in the way you feel each day and can even help with other diagnoses or prevent other health conditions. Take your health into your own hands and speak with your physician about any sleep concerns you have today.