Could You Have Sleep Apnea?



Video topic : Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that occurs when people's throats close off and they stop breathing during sleep. People who suffer from sleep apnea get an urgent message from the brain that they must wake up and take a breath. This can happen multiple times every hour, disrupting the sleep cycles. Snoring or sudden awakenings with a sensation of gasping or choking are common symptoms of sleep apnea. Other symptoms include morning headaches, dry mouth and excessive daytime sleepiness. Very effective treatments are available, but many sleep apnea sufferers don't realize that they have the disorder.

Sleep Apnea

Also called: Sleep-disordered breathing

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes your breathing to stop or get very shallow. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour.

The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. It causes your airway to collapse or become blocked during sleep. Normal breathing starts again with a snort or choking sound. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

You are more at risk for sleep apnea if you are overweight, male, or have a family history or small airways. Children with enlarged tonsils may also get it.

Doctors diagnose sleep apnea based on medical and family histories, a physical exam, and sleep study results.

When your sleep is interrupted throughout the night, you can be drowsy during the day. People with sleep apnea are at higher risk for car crashes, work-related accidents, and other medical problems. If you have it, it is important to get treatment. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and breathing devices can treat sleep apnea in many people.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


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