(Obstructive Apnea; Central Apnea; Mixed Apnea)
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- Obstructive apnea—caused by a temporary, partial, or complete blockage of the airway
- Central apnea—caused by a temporary failure to make an effort to breathe
- Mixed apnea—combination of the first two types
- Sex: male
- Large neck circumference
- Age: middle to older age
- Family history of apnea
Structural abnormalities of the nose, throat, or other part of the respiratory tract. Examples include:
- Severely enlarged tonsils
- Deviated nasal septum
- Medicines: sedatives and sleeping aids
- Alcohol consumption
- Fatigue and sleepiness during waking hours
- Loud snoring
- Breathing that stops during the night (noticed by the partner)
- Repeated waking at night
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Morning headaches
- Poor concentration or problems with memory
- Irritability or short temper
Overnight Sleep Study (Polysomnography)
- Eye and muscle movements
- Brain activity ( electroencephalogram )
- Heart rate
- Breathing (pattern and depth)
- Percent saturation of your red blood cells with oxygen
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Avoid using sedatives, sleeping pills, alcohol, and nicotine, which tend to make the condition worse.
- Try sleeping on your side instead of your back.
- Place pillows strategically so you are as comfortable as possible.
- For daytime sleepiness, practice safety measures, such as avoiding driving or operating potentially hazardous equipment.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty—The doctor removes excess soft tissue from the nose and/or throat.
- Maxillomandibular advancement—The jawbone is repositioned forward.
- Tracheotomy —For life-threatening cases of sleep apnea, an opening is made in the windpipe to allow for normal breathing.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine http://www.sleepeducation.com/
American Sleep Apnea Association http://www.sleepapnea.org/
National Sleep Foundation http://www.sleepfoundation.org/
Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca/
Canadian Sleep Society http://www.canadiansleepsociety.ca/
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders. 2nd ed. Westchester, IL; American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2005.
American Sleep Apnea Association website. Available at: http://www.sleepapnea.org . Accessed July 9, 2009.
Kushida CA, Littner MR, Hirshkowitz M, et al. Practice parameters for the use of continuous and bilevel positive airway pressure devices to treat adults with sleep-related breathing disorders. Sleep. 2006;29:375-380.
Littner MR, Kushida C, Wise M, et al. Practice parameters for clinical use of the multiple sleep latency test and the maintenance of wakefulness test. Sleep. 2005;28:113-121.
Morgenthaler TI, Kapen S, Lee-Chiong T, et al. Practice parameters for the medical therapy of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep. 2006;29:1031-1035.
Obstructive sleep apnea. DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Accessed October 22, 2007.
Pack AI, Maislin G. Who should get treated for sleep apnea? Ann Intern Med . 2001;134:1065-1067.
Sleep apnea: treatment and drugs. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleep-apnea/DS00148/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs . Updated June 29, 2010. Accessed April 4, 2011.
Smith I, Lasserson TJ, Wright J. Drug therapy for obstructive sleep apnea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2006;19:CD003002.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/93/2012 -