What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep.

The main types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax.
  • Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. It is very difficult at present to estimate the prevalence of childhood OSA because of widely varying monitoring techniques, but a minimum prevalence of 2 to 3% is likely, with prevalence as high as 10 to 20% in habitually snoring children. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs in all age groups and both sexes.

The National Sleep Foundation offers a number of resources to help patients who are currently suffering from or think that they may have sleep apnea.

If you think you might have any form of sleep apnea, see your doctor. Treatment can ease your symptoms and may help prevent heart problems and other complications. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (936) 293-8883.

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