What Are the Symptoms of Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome?
Snoring increases your risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. A precursor to obstructive sleep apnea is a condition known as upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). If you snore, it’s important to know the symptoms of UARS, so you can seek treatment, and lower your risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
UARS and Snoring
Snoring may be harmless and may not cause any breathing problems. However, snoring may be a sign of UARS. This happens due to an obstruction in the air passage while snoring, which makes it more difficult to breathe normally during sleep.
Symptoms of UARS
Snoring isn’t the only sign of UARS, and in some cases, those with UARS don’t snore at all. Instead of snoring, labored breathing in sleep may be the only symptom. Additionally, there may be trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep during the night and excessive sleepiness during the day. Depending on how poor the sleep quality is with UARS, there may be trouble staying awake throughout the day. It may also lead to chronic insomnia, which causes the sleep quality to degrade even more.
With UARS, there may not be breathing pauses as with sleep apnea. Although, UARS causes trouble breathing in sleep, one may not experience the abrupt pauses that are associated with obstructive sleep apnea.
Causes of UARS
UARS can develop due to different reasons including a crowded airway due to excessive tissue in the back of the throat, a large size tongue, tonsillar tissue or just the anatomy of the jaw.
The risk of having UARS gets higher as one gets older. There is also an increased risk of developing this condition due to significant weight gain. Unlike sleep apnea, which occurs more often in men than in women, UARS occurs at roughly equal rates in men and women.
UARS Treatment Options
While UARS might seem like a nuisance - rather than a health threat - keep in mind that it can turn into obstructive sleep apnea without treatment. If UARS causes poor sleep quality, this can also have a detrimental effect on your physical and emotional well-being.
There are different UARS treatment options available. Making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or not sleeping on the back, might help ease symptoms of upper airway resistance syndrome. Other ways to treat UARS include wearing a dental appliance or using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. A select group of patients may benefit from certain medications.
If you need UARS treatment options, please contact Sleep & Neuroscience Associates today to schedule an appointment. We can help you find a solution that allows you to sleep better.