SLEEP APNEA: Facts About This Breathing Disorder

SLEEP APNEA – Here are some important facts about this breathing disorder, including its definition, causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur multiple times throughout the night.

It disrupts the normal pattern of sleep, leading to poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue. If you suspect you have sleep apnea or are experiencing symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional.


Diagnosis typically involves a sleep study conducted either at a sleep center or at home to monitor your breathing patterns during sleep.


  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea – This is the most common type of sleep apnea, occurring when the muscles in the throat relax excessively during sleep, causing the airway to become blocked or narrowed.
  • Central Sleep Apnea – It occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing. As a result, there is a temporary cessation of breathing during sleep.
  • Mixed Sleep Apnea – This type is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea. It may start as obstructive sleep apnea but can develop into central sleep apnea with certain treatments.


  • Obesity
  • Older age
  • Male gender
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Nasal congestion
  • Health Consequences


  • Loud snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Gasping or choking sensations during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes

If left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious health consequences, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, daytime drowsiness leading to accidents, diagnosis and treatment.


  • Lifestyle CHANGES such as weight loss, avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bedtime, and sleeping on your side.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy, which involves wearing a mask that delivers air pressure to keep your airway open during sleep.
  • Oral appliances that help keep your throat open.
  • Surgery in some cases to remove excess tissue in the throat or reposition the jaw.

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