Sleep Apnea – The Facts About This Important Sleep Disorder
Sleep apnea is a common problem in the adult population, and is characterised by a reduction or stoppage of breathing when someone is asleep.
There are 2 main types – obstructive (which is more common) and central,but also a mixed type which is a combination of both obstructive and central.
Treatment for sleep apnea can be nonsurgical or surgical.
What is apnea? In layman’s terms it means that someone has stopped breathing for about 10 seconds or perhaps more. These episodes of apnea have a tendency to occur more often when a person is asleep, thus disrupting the sleep, and often wakening the sleeper up.
Doctors use various indexes which measure the severity of the sleep apnea to decide on their treatment options.
What causes sleep apnea? In the case of central sleep apnea it happens when the brain fails to send signals to the respiratory muscles. This is most common in babies, and in adults with heart problems, but can also be caused by some medicines.
In obstructive sleep apnea the message from the brain to the respiratory muscles gets through but...