Sleep Apnea

Apnea (ap-ne-uh) is the medical term for a cessation, or pause, in airflow which lasts for at least 10 seconds. An apnea is a temporary pause in breathing. The apnea may be as short as 10 seconds, or as long as a minute. Regardless of how long it lasts, it is important to remember that the patient always starts breathing again. As you might guess, in someone with sleep apnea, the apneas occur only during sleep - not while the patient is awake.

A Manual for Patients
Sleep Apnea: The Basics
Robert L. Begle, M.D.

Table of Contents

(Click on the question below to read the answer in PDF format.)

I. What is an apnea?

II. Are there different types of apneas?

III. Do apneas ever occur normally?

IV. How do apneas occur?

V. What are the consequences of an apnea?

VI. How do apneas cause medical problems?

VII. What are some of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?

VIII. What about central apneas?

IX. What causes snoring and how does it fit into all of this?

X. How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

XI. How is obstructive sleep apnea treated? - Nasal CPAP

XII. How is central sleep apnea treated?

XIII. What is a polysomnogram?

XIV. How can I sleep with all these things on me?