What Is Sleep Apnea?

By kyle
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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Do you feel as though you never get fully rested at night and find yourself sometimes waking up and gasping for breath? Does your partner make comments about how loudly you snore or that you seem to hold your breath during the night? Are you often moody or irritable throughout the day or find yourself falling asleep at times? If so, there is a chance that you could be suffering from sleep apnea.

Although many people associate sleep apnea with older adults, people of all ages can develop this condition. Since the disorder can be serious, it is important to get an evaluation from a medical professional if you suspect you may have developed it. With proper diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to live a life free from sleep apnea symptoms and the complications the condition can cause.

1. What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes you to stop and start breathing while asleep, which temporarily lowers your oxygen levels. Although the disorder is very common, it often needs to be evaluated and treated by a medical professional. People who suffer from it can have apnea episodes any time sleep occurs, whether at night or during a daytime nap.

Doctors recognize three major types of sleep apnea, and most cases fall into one of these categories. The most commonly diagnosed type, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when the muscles of the throat relax too much while sleeping. Central sleep apnea occurs when the signals of the brain that control breathing while asleep are not functioning optimally. Some individuals have a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. This is known as complex sleep apnea syndrome and can be more difficult to treat.

Sleep Apnea

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