Sleep Apnea

June 14, 2023

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Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person experiences interruptions in their breathing while they are asleep. These interruptions can occur repeatedly throughout the night and can cause a range of symptoms, including snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is the most common form of sleep apnea, and occurs when the muscles in the throat relax and block the airway during sleep.
  2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): This occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, resulting in a lack of oxygen in the body.
  3. Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome: This occurs when a person has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Risk factors for sleep apnea include obesity, older age, male sex, smoking, alcohol use, and certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

Treatment for sleep apnea may include lifestyle changes such as weight loss, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, and establishing a regular sleep schedule. Medical treatments may include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which involves wearing a mask over the nose and/or mouth during sleep to deliver a continuous stream of air to keep the airway open, or other forms of positive airway pressure therapy. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove excess tissue from the throat or to reposition the jaw.

If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider. They can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs and circumstances.

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