Sleep apnea is a common disorder
that causes your breathing to stop or get very shallow. Breathing
pauses can last from a few seconds to several minutes and may occur 30
times or more an hour cutting off your oxygen supply.
The most common type is Obstructive
Sleep Apnea or OSA. It causes your airway to collapse or become blocked
during sleep. Normal breathing starts again with a snort or choking
sound. People with Sleep Apnea often snore loudly - a warning sign
of OSA. However, not
everyone who snores has sleep apnea. This clearly
critical to one's overall health.
You are more at risk for sleep
apnea if you are overweight, male, or have a family history of small
airways. Children with enlarged tonsils may also have it.
Doctors diagnose Sleep Apnea based
on medical and family histories, a physical exam, and sleep study
When your sleep is interrupted
throughout the night, you can be drowsy during the day. People with
sleep apnea are at higher risk for car crashes, work-related
accidents, and other medical problems. If you have it, it is
important to get treatment. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery,
and breathing devices can treat sleep apnea in most people.