sleep apnea

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sleep apnea

sleep apnea, episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder in which relaxation of muscles in the throat repeatedly close off the airway during sleep; the person wakes just enough to take a gasping breath. This process is repeated many times during sleep and usually is not remembered the next day. Those suffering from severe obstructive sleep apnea typically complain of sleepiness, irritability, forgetfulness, and difficulty in concentrating. They may have difficulties in their occupational or social lives and be prone to motor vehicle accidents.

Most people with obstructive sleep apnea tend to be obese and snore loudly. The disorder has been medically linked to hypertension, which in turn puts people at greater risk of heart failure and stroke. Weight reduction in persons who are overweight is an important factor in effective treatment. Alcoholic drinks near bedtime and sleeping pills should be avoided. Sometimes obstructive sleep apnea can be treated by surgically correcting the narrowing of the airway. Another option is continuous positive airway pressure, which involves wearing a mask over the nose and mouth during sleep; this treatment keeps the airway open by forcing air into the nasal passages. A different type of sleep apnea, called central sleep apnea, is believed to be caused by an abnormality in the brain's regulation of breathing during sleep.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Maddern, "Upper airway surgery for adult obstructive sleep apnoea: what is the evidence?," ANZ Journal of Surgery, vol.
Cates, "Continuous positive airways pressure for obstructive sleep apnoea in adults," Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no.
He said obstructive sleep apnoea testing is essential in the Middle East to cut road deaths.
Stradling, "Circulating cardiovascular risk factors in obstructive sleep apnoea: data from randomised controlled trials," Thorax, vol.
In obstructive sleep apnoea, respiratory effort is maintained but ventilation decreases or disappears because of partial or total occlusion in the upper airway.
Mr Whale, who lives in Cardiff, was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnoea six weeks ago after suffering six years of disturbed sleep.
Moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnoea (defined as 15 or more apnoeas per hour) carries an excess risk of motor vehicle crashes, heart disease and death.
Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs when soft tissue in the back of the airway collapses and blocks it.
Intranasal corticosteroid therapy for obstructive sleep apnoea in patients with co-existing rhinitis.

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