Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious breathing problem that interrupts your sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea means you have short pauses in your breathing when you sleep. These breathing pauses – called apneas or apnea events – last for 10 to 30 seconds, maybe longer. People with obstructive sleep apnea can stop breathing dozens or hundreds of times each night. Obstructive sleep apnea (also called OSA or obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome) stops you from having the restful sleep you need to stay healthy. If it’s not treated, sleep apnea can lead to major health problems, accidents, and early death.
There are two major types of sleep apnea. They are
Obstructive sleep apnea stops you from breathing normally at night. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, the following happens while you sleep:
This cycle can continue through the night: you breathe quietly; you snore; you have a pause in your breathing; you gasp for breath; and you start breathing again. Most people have dozens or hundreds of sleep apnea events a night. This means dozens or hundreds of interruptions of sleep. You can’t get the restful sleep you need to be healthy.
The combination of both apnea events (pauses in breathing) and hyponea events (partly blocked breathing) is called obstructive sleep apnea-hyponea syndrome OSAHS).
There are a few reasons why a person’s airway can partly or completely collapse during sleep. They are
Anyone of any age can get obstructive sleep apnea. The risk is higher if a person has a combination of the following risk factors.
The two main symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are:
Some other signs and symptoms that might occur as a result of obstructive sleep apnea are
Last Modified : 2/20/2020
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