What is Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea is a disorder which is characterized by a reduction or cessation (pause of breathing, airflow) during the sleep cycle. These reductions or pauses typically last 10 to 20 seconds or more and can occur 20 to 30 times an hour. There are two types of Sleep Apnea; the more common Obstructive Sleep Apnea and less common Central Sleep Apnea.
The Effects of Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea usually occurs during sleep. When a person is affected by this Apnea, sleep is disrupted. This could result in the affected individual waking up completely or out of a deep sleep into a more shallow level of sleep. These disruptions or Apneas can be measured, normally by a sleep center or other clinic that diagnoses Sleep Apnea symptoms. An estimate of the severity of sleep Apnea is calculated by dividing the number of Apneas by the number of hours of sleep (generally 2 hours) to obtain an Apnea index (AI). The greater the Apnea index, the more severe the Apnea.
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How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
There are a number of non surgical treatments normally involving change to diets or exercise programs geared at lowering blood pressure and relieving loud snoring. These can be diagnosed by your healthcare provider. People with moderate or severe Sleep Apnea, however need additional treatments such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines or apparatus.
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