Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)

UARsUpper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)

You may have heard of sleep apnea but have you heard of upper airway resistance syndrome, or UARS? The reason not many people have heard of UARS is because it is not as noticeable as sleep apnea. For instance, people who experience sleep apnea often snore loudly, excessively, choke and gasp, and often wake themselves from sleep. UARS can occur with little noise. If someone is not making noise while they sleep, there is no problem right? Wrong. In today’s blog, your Livonia, MI dentist, Dr. James Stewart, discusses upper airway resistance syndrome, or UARS.


Upper airway resistance syndrome is a sleep disorder that often signals the early stages of obstructive sleep apnea. UARS occurs when your airway narrows to the point that your diaphragm and chest muscles have to strain to pull air into your lungs. It can present with no snoring and very little other noise. However, in some instances the person may sound like they are struggling to breath.  UARS is often overlooked or mistaken for other conditions. If UARS goes untreated it is likely to evolve into sleep apnea. Many of its symptoms are similar to sleep apnea such as daytime drowsiness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and frequent night time waking. Other symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Migraines
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome: Severe tiredness not relieved by rest.
  • Fibromyalgia: Long-term pain and tenderness throughout your body including joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Certain studies have indicated that the proper management of UARS can dramatically decrease pain associated with fibromyalgia.


Treatment for UARS is easily managed with an Oral Systemic Balance orthotic (OSB). The OSB is worn over your bottom teeth while sleeping. Similar to a sports mouth guard, it is comfortable to wear and easy to insert and remove.

About Dr. Stewart

James R. Stewart, Jr, DDS, PC and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. If you think you or a loved one is dealing with a sleep disorder, call our office today at (734) 425-4400, to schedule an appointment. At Dental sleep Medicine of Michigan, we are committed to forming trusting relationships with our patients so we can work together to achieve sound treatment and a future full of restful nights.