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HomeHealthWhat Exactly Is Sleep Apnea? Here's What You Need To Know

What Exactly Is Sleep Apnea? Here’s What You Need To Know

If you have sleep apnea, you’re not alone. Many people deal with the disorder, which disrupts your breathing while you sleep and cuts down on the quality of your rest – affecting potentially your energy levels and mood during the day. Read this article to learn everything you need to know before deciding what is best for your condition.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes, and they may occur dozens or even hundreds of times during the night.

Most people with sleep apnea are not aware that they have it. Sleep apnea usually is first suspected when someone notices that you snore loudly. But not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

There are a variety of treatment options available for sleep apnea, which can be determined by your doctor based on the severity of your condition. Some of the most common treatments include:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): A machine that delivers air through a mask while you sleep, in order to keep your airway open and prevent snoring or apneic events. CPAP therapy services can be very effective in treating sleep apnea. While treatments such as oral appliances or surgery may work in some cases, most people find that CPAP therapy is the best option for them. 
  • Mouthpieces or dental appliances: These devices help to position the tongue and jaw in a way that prevents obstruction of the airway.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove excess tissue from the throat or nasal cavity that is causing the obstruction. 

If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea, which is the more common type, occurs when throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep.
  2. Central sleep apnea, which is less common, occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing.
  3. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea can occur at any age, but it’s more common in adults and becomes more prevalent as we get older. Men are twice as likely as women to have this condition. Obesity increases the risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea, as do anatomical features such as a small jawbone or large tongue

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

There are many different things that can cause sleep apnea. In some cases, it may be due to a physical problem, such as a blockage in the airway. In other cases, it may be due to a medical condition, such as heart disease or obesity. It is also possible for sleep apnea to be caused by a combination of factors.

There are many different things that can cause sleep apnea. Some of the more common causes include being overweight, smoking, and having a family history of sleep apnea. However, there are other less common causes as well, such as nasal congestion or a deviated septum.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. If you think you may have sleep apnea, it is important to see a doctor so that you can get treatment and get back to living a normal, healthy life.

How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Sleep apnea is diagnosed with a sleep study, which is usually done overnight in a sleep lab. During the sleep study, sensors are placed on your body to measure your heart rate, blood oxygen level, eye movement, and muscle activity. You may also be asked to wear a mask that is connected to a machine that measures your breathing. 

If you have sleep apnea, you may snore loudly, and you may often feel tired during the day.


If you’re reading this, chances are you or someone you know has been diagnosed with sleep apnea. But what exactly is sleep apnea? In a nutshell, it’s a condition that causes your breathing to be interrupted during sleep. This can lead to a number of serious health problems, which is why it’s important to get treated if you have it. Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatment options available, so if you think you might have sleep apnea, be sure to talk to your doctor about it.

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