Upper Airway Disruption

Upper airway disruption refers to any condition or obstruction that interrupts the normal flow of air through the upper respiratory system. This disruption can occur at any point in the upper airway, including the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and trachea.

Some common causes of upper airway disruption include:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): A condition in which the upper airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep, causing breathing to stop and start repeatedly.
  2. Allergies: Allergic reactions to environmental allergens can cause inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages and upper airway, making it difficult to breathe.
  3. Nasal polyps: Soft, noncancerous growths that develop in the lining of the nasal passages and can obstruct airflow.
  4. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids: These can obstruct the airway, particularly in children.
  5. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): A progressive lung disease that can cause chronic bronchitis and emphysema, leading to airway obstruction.
  6. Infections: Respiratory infections such as the common cold or flu can cause inflammation and swelling in the upper airway, making it difficult to breathe.

Symptoms of upper airway disruption can include snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, difficulty breathing, frequent awakening during sleep, and daytime fatigue.

Treatment for upper airway disruption depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. It may include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss or avoiding allergens, medication, or surgery to remove obstructions.

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