Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) takes place when there is a complete collapse of the airway which blocks airflow to the lungs. The more one attempts to breathe, the tighter the seal becomes on the airway. The airway obstruction continues until the brain partially wakes the person up. The individual will unconsciously return the throat and tongue into their regular position. The falling asleep cycle - jaw relaxes, airway collapses, and then awakening unconsciously with a gasp before falling asleep again - may repeat itself as often as once a minute and in severe cases even more. When you have a blocked airway, you don't get enough oxygen and that can trigger serious or minor health issues.