Majority of the people around the world living with sleep apnea may not realize their breathing is being interrupted while they sleep. Often family members might notice the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea first. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing other life-threatening heath conditions such as hypertension, stroke and heart disease.
When someone has sleep apnea, their breathing stops or becomes shallow while sleeping. In adults, apnea is considered significant when these pauses in breathing last 10 seconds or longer and occur more than five to 15 or more times an hour.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type and is caused by the inability to move enough air through the mouth and nose into the lungs because of complete or partial blockage in the upper airways during sleep. When breathing resumes, it often is accompanied by a gasp, snort, body jerk or an arousal. Read the rest of this entry