What is Sleep Apnea?

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that causes partial or full airway collapse during sleep. This disorder causes intermittent and/or shallow breathing, and often very loud snoring. Breathing can either slow down, or in many cases completely stop periodically in the night, causing several health and life-threatening complications.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the most common type, occurs when there is a blockage of the airway, which is caused by the relaxation of the muscles in the back of the throat, causing the airway to narrow or close. When this happens, you cannot get enough air, the oxygen levels in your blood decrease and you wake up (although you do not remember it), so that you can breathe again.

In Central Sleep Apnea, there is no blockage in the airway. However, the brain does not signal the muscles to breathe. In simple words, you do not breathe for a short period of time. As a result, you cannot get to sleep or stay asleep.

The most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, insomnia, and fatigue.

Sleep apnea is a condition that can affect anyone, at any age. However, there are some risk factors, which are linked with higher risk of developing sleep apnea, such as obesity, age, family history and severe medical conditions.

If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to severe health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes, or even sudden death.

There are various solutions to treat sleep apnea and each of them works under specific circumstances and for different people. Treatment options for sleep apnea include nonsurgical and surgical solutions. The most effective and risk-free treatment is PAP therapy.

Would you like to learn more about
sleep apnea?

Our team of experts at Ontario Sleep Care is available to answer all of your questions. Contact us and find again the quality of life only a good night’s sleep can give!