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Sleep apnea is a condition where an obstruction of the airway interrupts breathing during sleep.
Sleep apnea is a serious medical problem that can lead to many life-threatening
illnesses if not treated—including high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks.
Few people understand the serious nature associated with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs in all age groups
and in both genders.
Sleep apnea is well-documented to be associated with the following:
High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Excessive sleepiness leading to auto accidents
Due to this association, early recognition and treatment is important.
There are two different types of sleep apnea:
Central Sleep Apnea: occurs when signals to breathe are not sent or conducted to the muscles
responsible for breathing; not as common as obstructive sleep
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: occurs when a blockage of the airway happens from the tongue
or soft tissues in the back of the throat collapsing, resulting in little-to-no airflow into
the lungs. This occurs even though efforts to breathe continue.
There are many factors leading to sleep apnea. Some of these are:
Physical abnormality in the nose, throat or other parts of the upper airway
- Family history
- Medical/health problems
- Altitude of residence.