obstructive sleep apnea

noun
variants: also obstructive sleep apnea syndrome or obstructive apnea

Medical Definition of obstructive sleep apnea

: sleep apnea that is caused by recurring interruption of breathing during sleep due to obstruction usually of the upper airway especially by weak, redundant, or malformed pharyngeal tissues, that occurs chiefly in overweight middle-aged and elderly individuals, and that results in hypoxemia and frequent arousals during the night and in excessive sleepiness during the day The study also showed I had some obstructive sleep apnea, in which the airway narrows, especially when the muscles relax in sleep. People with OSA stop breathing momentarily until a lack of oxygen alerts the brain, which wakes them up with a gasp.— Melinda Beck, The Wall Street Journal, 9 June 2009 abbreviation OSA

Learn More About obstructive sleep apnea

Dictionary Entries Near obstructive sleep apnea

obstructive jaundice

obstructive sleep apnea

obstruent

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Obstructive sleep apnea.” Merriam-Webster.com Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/obstructive%20sleep%20apnea. Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!