What Is Sleep Apnea?

Wondering what sleep apnea is? 

Sleep apnea (or sleep apnoea, if you use UK English rather than US English) is a term which originates from the Greek:  a-  without;  and pnoea-  breathing.  As the term suggests, sleep apnea describes a condition where the sufferer ceases to breathe while they are asleep.

There are two main causes for sleep apnea. 
What is sleep apnea?

In the majority of cases, the sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction to the airway.  The obstruction is normally because the tongue, soft palate, uvula and/or soft tissue of the pharyngeal airway have relaxed or collapsed and blocked the flow of air. 

The other form of sleep apnea is known as 'central' apnea.  This is a rarer form of apnea, but no less dangerous.  Unlike 'obstructive' sleep apnea, as described above, people suffering from 'central' sleep apnea do not have the normal breathing reflex of a healthy human.  This is a neurological rather than physical condition and requires extensive treatment.

Some patients suffer from a condition known as 'mixed apnea' or 'complex apnea', which describes a sleeping pattern where both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea occurs. 

In all cases, the side effects and consequences of sleep apnea are very serious and tend to worsen over time.  For more information, call a friendly sleep therapist for a no obligation chat on 1300 246 637, or complete the form below and we'll be happy to get in touch.

Sleep apnea is harmful to the sufferer's health, with clear links to waking tiredness and daytime sleepiness as well as a wide range of serious medical consequences and co-morbidities, including hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, loss of libido / impotence, metabolic retardation / obesity, acid reflux, reduced cognitive function plus much more.   Sleep apnea also has serious impacts on the sufferer's wellbeing and relationships

The good new is excellent and highly effective treatments are available.  If you suspect you or someone you know has any form of sleep apnea, call now or complete the form below. 

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