Sleep apnea occurs when an adult stops breathing or
has slowed breathing during sleep. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, based
on the number of times each hour that breathing stops (apnea) or slows
two main types of sleep apnea are:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the result of blocked
airflow during sleep, such as from narrowed airways. Other factors, such as
obesity, often contribute to obstructive sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea, which results from a problem with how the brain signals the
breathing muscles. This type of apnea can occur with conditions such as heart
failure, brain tumors, brain infections, and stroke.
A person who has sleep apnea may snore loudly and
have restless sleep with difficulty breathing. The person may wake up with a
headache. Or the person may be very tired throughout the day.
Sleep apnea may
improve with changes in sleep habits, such as not sleeping on your back.
Sometimes devices to help breathing during sleep are useful, and sometimes
surgery may help.
July 9, 2009
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Mark A. Rasmus, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2011 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Virtua WomanCopyright © 2013 - Virtua Woman