What Is Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disruption of breathing while asleep. 90% of people who have sleep apnea don't know that they have it! People with sleep apnea may complain of excessive daytime sleepiness often with irritability or restlessness.

What's the difference between sleep apnea and snoring ?

Snoring happens when tissues at the back of the throat become flaccid and flap as you breathe. The resulting vibrations make noise.

Apnea or temporary cessation of breathing occurs when those relaxed tissues settle into the throat and partially or fully obstruct the airway. Blood oxygen levels drop and carbon dioxide builds up.

Warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include :

1 . Frequent silences during sleep due to breaks in breathing

2 . Choking or gasping during sleep to get air into the lungs

3 . Loud snoring

4 . Sudden awakenings to restart breathing or waking up in a sweat

5 . Daytime sleepiness and feeling unrefreshed by a night’s sleep including falling asleep at inappropriate times

Sleep apnea has serious health consequences and can even be life-threatening. The main effects of sleep apnea are sleep deprivation and oxygen deprivation.

Sleep deprivation hurts the person with sleep apnea and the bed partner. Frequent waking, whether remembered or not, causes fitful sleep and prohibits therapeutic rest. A bed partner may lose an hour or more of sleep each night from sleeping next to a person with sleep apnea.

Oxygen deprivation occurs when you stop breathing, your brain does not get enough oxygen. Serious problems can result from the oxygen deprivation of sleep apnea, including heart disease, high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, and learning/memory problems.

Many people find that they only snore or experience apnea when sleeping on their backs. Mental effects of sleep apnea negatively impact careers, education and personal relations.

Medical or surgical treatment options are generally available for most of the areas of upper airway obstruction with the retrolingual and hypopharyngeal areas being the most problematic.


To learn how to prevent snoring, it is important to make certain changes to your lifestyle. Just follow the link to find out more about Apnea Treatment Guide



Steve Berke said...

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