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Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome

What is upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS)?

It is commonly believed that sleep apnea begins as subtle airway collapse which may or may not be associated with snoring. This may have a harmful effect on an individual’s health and sleep quality because of chronically disrupted sleep. Upper airway resistance syndrome is a precursor to obstructive sleep apnea, and it is important to identify and treat patients with UARS since they have a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea in the future.


What are the symptoms of sleep apnea & upper airway resistance syndrome?

Symptoms of sleep apnea and UARS vary from patient to patient. These symptoms include:

  • Loud snoring

  • Choking or gasping during sleep

  • Frequently waking up throughout the night

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

  • Unrefreshing sleep

  • Morning headaches

  • Memory loss

  • Trouble concentrating during the day

  • Irritability

  • Depression

  • Mood swings

  • Dry mouth or a sore throat when waking up


If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with our sleep specialists for sleep apnea/UARS diagnosis and treatment.


What are the risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea & UARS?


You may be more likely to develop sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome if you have the following pre-existing conditions:

  • Overweight/obesity

  • Narrow airway

  • Nasal congestion

  • A neck circumference greater than 17 inches


Risk factors may also include:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Family history of sleep apnea or UARS

  • Smoking


How is UARS diagnosed?


Sleep apnea and UARS are sleep disorders that can be diagnosed at SleepMS. Board-certified sleep specialist and sleep apnea doctor, Dr. Alex A. Clerk analyzes patient symptoms and concerns to make a diagnosis of sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome. If indicated, a sleep study may be done, during which a patient is monitored for signs of abnormal breathing and oxygenation as they sleep.


What are our obstructive sleep apnea & upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) treatments?


Dr. Clerk has extensive experience in treating patients with sleep apnea and UARS. Depending on the severity, sleep apnea and UARS treatments include:

  • Lifestyle modifications, which may consist of losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol, and other changes based on an individual’s needs.

  • Conservative management, mild forms of sleep apnea or UARS may be adequately treated with non-CPAP options, such as positional therapy, medical management, or an oral appliance.

  • CPAP considered the gold standard of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, can help to stabilize the airway during sleep, thus preventing obstruction.

  • CPAP alternatives, which can help to stabilize the airway during sleep, thus preventing an obstruction in patients who have trouble tolerating CPAP. These include surgical and non-surgical options, such as oral appliances.


If you believe you may be suffering from Sleep Apnea or UARS, it is important to see a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine in order to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Dr. Clerk is the most trusted board-certified sleep specialist in the Bay Area, who is known for diagnosing and treating all kinds of sleep disorders.

Call (408) 295--4532 today!

Request an Appointment Today!

O'Connor Health Center 1

455 O'Connor Drive, Suite #110 San Jose, CA 95128

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