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1. What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder where there is repeated interruption in breathing during sleep. This results in the brain as well as the entire body not getting enough oxygen. These pauses in breathing can last for a few seconds to minutes and may occur about 30 times or more in an hour. The patient is usually unaware of this condition since it does not cause full awakening while sleeping.
2. What are the types of sleep apnea?
Different types of sleep apnea are:
obstructive sleep apnea - most common, caused due to blockage of airways
central sleep apnea - occurs due to the failure of the brain to signal muscles that control breathing
complex sleep apnea syndrome - also called treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, it happens when an individual suffers from both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
3. Is there a specific age group who are at risk for sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common condition, and it can affect all age groups, even children. The reason for sleep apnea in children can be mostly attributed to enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Besides, it is more frequent in men than in women.
4. What are some of the risk factors for sleep apnea?
Some of the risk factors for sleep apnea are as follows:
having large tonsils and tongue
having a family history of sleep apnea
having a thick neck
use of alcohol
being old (over age 40)
5. What can happen if sleep apnea is left untreated?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder. If it is left untreated, it can give rise to severe complications and health problems including high blood pressure, cardiac diseases, fatigue during the daytime, depression, accidents while driving due to sleep deprivation, liver problems, diabetes, and headaches.