WHAT IS UPPER AIRWAY RESISTANCE SYNDROME?
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) occurs when the air passageway narrows so much that the chest muscles and diaphragm have to work very hard to pull air into the lungs. UARS is at the midpoint of severity in breathing disorders between snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. As snoring gets worse, it becomes UARS. Untreated UARS can evolve into obstructive sleep apnea.
There are major differences between those with sleep apnea and people suffering from UARS.
- While obstructive sleep apnea is more common in men, women are as likely to suffer from UARS as men.
- While people with sleep apnea are more likely to be overweight, it is extremely common for UARS sufferers to be normal or under weight.
- Chronic insomnia with frequent awakenings and difficulty resuming sleep are more common in those with UARS than with sleep apnea.
To understand the difficulty that someone with UARS has with breathing, try to imagine breathing for an extended period of time through an opening no larger than a small soda straw.