Conditions InDepth: Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea occurs when breathing stops for brief periods of time while a person is sleeping. It can last for 10-30 seconds, and may occur up to 20-30 times per hour. During one night of sleep, this can cause up to 400 episodes of interrupted breathing.

Normal Upper Airway During Sleep
IMAGE
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Every time you stop breathing, you interfere with the normal patterns of deep sleep. The quality of sleep that you get is greatly impaired. Your level of alertness and your ability to pay attention may be seriously affected.
Blocked Airway
IMAGE
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
If you have sleep apnea, you are also more likely to have:There are several kinds of sleep apnea. These include:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This is caused by a temporary airway obstruction. This blockage may be partial or complete. Obstructive sleep apnea can occur when the tissues of your throat relax too much and cave in on each other. If you are overweight, then your excess tissue might be putting too much pressure on your airway, causing it to collapse. You may have a deviated septum , nasal polyps , large tonsils, or an elongated soft palate and uvula that obstruct your airway while you are sleeping. For children, enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the most common reason for obstructive sleep apnea.

Central Sleep Apnea

This occurs when the lower brain stem fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing. Conditions that cause problems with the lower brain stem include certain types of polio , encephalitis , stroke , brain tumors , and other diseases that affect the brain and central nervous system. For children, the most common reason for central sleep apnea is prematurity.

Mixed Sleep Apnea

Mixed sleep apnea includes aspects of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.What are the risk factors for sleep apnea?What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?How is sleep apnea diagnosed?What are the treatments for sleep apnea?Are there screening tests for sleep apnea?How can I reduce my risk of sleep apnea?What questions should I ask my doctor?What is it like to live with sleep apnea?Where can I get more information about sleep apnea?

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals


Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

A randomized trial found that fecal microbiota transplantation had a higher rate of remission in patients with active ulcerative colitis than those who recieved placebo. Fecal transplantation is believed to help the intestine develop a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut which can help the intestine recover and function more effectively.

dot separator
previous editions

Exercise Associated with Healthy Baby Weight
June 2015

Mindful Meditation May Reduce Symptoms and Complications of Insomnia
May 2015

Chewing Gum After Surgery May Improve Digestive Tract Recovery
April 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook