Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that manifests itself as unusual pauses

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that manifests itself as unusual pauses in the breathing pattern, or by instances of low or irregular breathing while you sleep. Each breath pause is known as an “apnea” – – a term which is derived from Greek term “apnoia” which translates to “without breathing”. When breathing normally the frequency of pauses remains constant and consistent. When the pattern of breathing is altered due to different factors, as well as the time between each pause become irregular, it can lead to sleep apnea. Each breath that has an irregular rhythm is known as “hypopnea.” In the case of normal breathing, every breath or pause is referred to as an “apnea” and in the case of breathing that is irregular, it is called “hypopnea.”

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Sleep apnea symptoms

People suffering from the disorder are often unaware that they suffer from it. Certain signs may indicate that the person has the condition. The most prominent symptoms are:


Sleepless patterns that cause insomnia

Gasping or choking while you sleep

Night sweats

Being extremely sleepy throughout the daytime

Loudly and frequently snoring

Trouble breathing while asleep

Other signs that could indicate a symptoms of a disorder include:


Morning headaches

Memory loss

The difficulty in learning new concepts


Inability to stay focused for longer


Changes in mood and/or personality

Dry throat after waking

Nighttime urination is frequent.

Sleep apnea causes

The condition is usually due to fat accumulation or decrease in the tone of muscles particularly in old age. This particular condition affects the muscles of the trachea (“trachea” can be described as the windpipe) as well as the muscles of the soft palate at the bottom of your tongue as well as the uvula (“uvula” is the triangular-shaped, small, tissue of flesh hanging from the middle in at the rear of your throat) are able to relax to an extensive extent , and then collapse during breathing exercise. In simple words, the windpipe gets stretched or it becomes a slack place where the layers bind which blocks the airflow into the lung. The condition can also be because of a malfunction in the brain cells that control breathing when you sleep. The sleep disorder is easily diagnosed through the overnight polysomnogram test. It is the sleep test that is widely used to identify sleep disorders and other related issues.

The effects of sleep apnea

While the sleep disorder appears to be normal but not serious, it can cause grave health issues. If it is not treated it could lead to:


Sexual dysfunction


High blood pressure

The irregular heartbeats

Coronary Heart Disease

Chronic Heart Failure

Insuflation of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)

Different types of sleep apnea

There are three kinds of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea with obstruction (OSA)

Central sleep apnea (CSA)

Sleep apnea that is mixed (MSA)

Although all three kinds of sleep conditions differ in their causes and treatment are as far as treatment is concerned, one feature remains typical – certain areas that comprise the respiratory system shrink down, reducing the amount of oxygen that reaches the patient’s lung.

Sleep apnea with obstruction (OSA)

It is a very prevalent form of disorder that is seen in the many people who suffer from sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep Apnea is a physical condition. This type of disorder is generally diagnosed by people who have:

More weight (overweight)

Small jaw line

A tiny air passage inside the trachea (windpipe)

Large tongue


The primary cause of OSA has the same cause one as described above to treat sleep apnea. It can also get worse when the person drinks alcohol, ingestion of tranquilizers, or sleeping pills.

Central sleep apnea (CSA)

It’s a fairly uncommon form of sleep disorder, in which the tracheal muscles don’t shrink to a significant extent while the airway stays sufficient to ensure that air can move through. In this specific condition, the diaphragm as well as the chest muscles are temporarily unable to function properly and result in lower oxygen levels in blood. The lower oxygen levels affect the normal functioning of the body. Additionally, the brain is also receiving less oxygen and is affected by memory loss and slow learning, as well as sluggish reactions, and the inability to focus for long periods of time.

Sleep apnea with mixed sleep (MSA)

In extremely rare instances certain individuals suffer from both sleep apnea with obstruction as well as central sleep apnea concurrently. In these instances both sleep disorders are manifested through interspersing and the person might experience the effects of both disorders in one time or even a combination of both. The psychological or pathological effects of this disorder are not determined or analyzed since a variety of variables affect the way it manifests.

Treatment for sleep apnea

The treatment options for sleep disorder differs according to the severity of the person affected. The treatment is generally able to be provided through procedures and therapies based on the extent to which the disorder affects the person. The treatment includes:


Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

This treatment is usually employed when a person suffers from mild to severe sleep disorders. The treatment consists of a device that delivers oxygen (oxygen) through a mask worn over the nose when the person is asleep. The pressure of the air remains higher than the pressure of the air surrounding it and is only strong enough for keeping the airways open.

Adjustable airway pressure devices

In this form of therapy the special air pressure device is used to automatically regulate the oxygen and pressure levels even when the patient is sleeping. The fundamental function for the machine is the same as that employed in CPAP therapy, but it is a more advanced version and also supports Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP). The device increases pressure while inhaling and lessens the pressure on exhalation.

The Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV)

The airflow device is able to learn and recognizes the pattern of breathing that normal people use and store the information inside a built-in computer. When you’re asleep, the machine regulates the pressure of air to regulate the breathing pattern and avoids any interruptions in breathing. ASV is more effective than CPAP when dealing with central sleep apnea for some people.

Oral appliances

The treatment involves wearing an oral appliance specifically designed to keep your throat “open”. Oral appliances are easy to utilize. Some are specifically designed to keep the mouth open by moving the jaw forward. This could at times help reduce snoring and stop mild obstructive sleep apnea.


The primary goal of sleep apnea-related surgery is to remove excess tissue from the throat or nose that may cause obstruction in the passage of air. The surgical options are:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

In this procedure, excess material is eliminated from the front of your mouth, as well as at the top of your throat. In some instances tonsils and adenoids can also be removed. This type of procedure may be effective in stopping sleep apnea, however, based on research findings, it appears to be less effective in treating sleep apnea because the tissues further in the trachea (windpipe) could hinder the air passageway. UPPP procedure is typically performed in a hospital and involves the administering general anesthesia.


In this process, the jaw will be moved up the facial bones that remain. This opens up the space between the tongue and soft palate, which reduces the obstruction of air. The procedure might require the help by an oral surgeon or an orthodontist. The procedure can be in conjunction together with different surgical methods in order to increase the chances of successful results.


This is a crucial surgery and is only advised when other treatment options are not working and the patient has serious or life-threatening sleep disorder. The procedure involves creating there is an opening made in the neck , and an aluminum or plastic tube is introduced into the trachea to allow we breathe. The opening is closed in the daytime, in the evening, the opening is left open to let air in the lung. The tube aids in clearing the obstruction in the air passageway.

Mandar Majmudar is an experienced Content writer, who’s worked with both the BPO as well as KPO segments for the past several years. He has been involved in numerous web projects that involved writing and designing aspects. He has taught professionals in technical and content writing for MNCs and entrepreneurs with small or medium size businesses. He specializes in developing content that is based on concepts – the client presents an idea, and He develops different kinds of content formats that can be used to spread the idea on the web.