Sleep apnea, what is it?

The Sleep apnea It is a disorder where breathing is momentarily interrupted while sleeping. These interruptions can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur more than 30 times per hour. If after a long night’s sleep, you feel tired or snore repeatedly, you may be suffering from this disorder.


The person who suffers from sleep apnea or snores is not always aware of their situation. Therefore, it is the person who sleeps next to her or near her who usually shows the signs and based on them, a doctor can make an evaluation of the case and from there refer the patient to a sleep disorder center.

Loud snoring, gasping for breath, waking up with dry mouth or headache in the morning are just some of the most obvious symptoms, in addition to tiredness during the day

The evaluations comprise a nocturnal monitoring of respiration and other bodily functions while the patient sleeps in a sleep center, although overnight tests can also be done at home.

In case of doing them in the center, a nocturnal polysomnographywhich involves connecting a person to equipment that monitors heart, lung, and brain activity, breathing patterns, arm and leg movements, and blood oxygen levels while the person sleeps.

If the test is done at the patient’s home, it will be a simplified version that involves measuring heart rate, blood oxygen levels, airflow, and breathing patterns.

In both cases, the tests will serve to show if you actually suffer from sleep apnea and what kind.

Main types of sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea. This is the most common type of freediving. It occurs when the throat muscles relax. This causes the airways to collapse or become blocked during sleep. Then the breath returns with a snort or puff.

central sleep apnea, which occurs when the brain does not send the correct signals, or temporarily stops sending them, to the muscles that control breathing. This means that the person does not make an effort to breathe for a short period of time.

Who can suffer from sleep apnea?

People who are more prone to sleep apnea are men. Men are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than women. On the other hand, in women the possibilities increase with overweight and menopauseto.

On the other hand, those with small airways or a family history of respiratory problems are also more prone and it also occurs more frequently in older adults.

The consumption of alcohol in excess, sedatives or tranquilizers, relax the muscles of the throat too much, which can cause apnea. While smoking can increase fluid retention in the upper respiratory tract causing inflammation, tripling the chances of suffering from apnea.

Children with swollen tonsils or adenoids can also experience sleep apnea, as can people with asthma or a stuffy nose.

Finally, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease can also increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.

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