Sleep Apnea: Symptoms and Causes


The hypoglossal nerve (the name comes from Greek and means “under the tongue”) is what controls your tongue’s movements. A nerve stimulator attached to this nerve can stimulate it, pushing your tongue slightly my sources forward when you breathe while you’re sleeping. That keeps your tongue from relaxing and pressing backward on your windpipe while you sleep, which is one of the ways that obstructive sleep apnea happens.

If you suspect you or a loved one has sleep apnea, you might be able to help a healthcare provider diagnose it. Video and audio recordings of a person sleeping, especially where the provider can hear breathing, can give a provider key evidence they need to speed up the diagnostic process. Because of this, you shouldn’t try to self-diagnose or self-treat it.


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Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that requires medical attention. When someone stops or pauses breathing for longer than 10 seconds multiple times an hour throughout try this the night, they are not taking in adequate amounts of oxygen. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.

Dr. Singh is the Medical Director of the Indiana Sleep Center. His research and clinical practice focuses on the entire myriad of sleep disorders. For some people, it’s possible to resolve it by reducing their weight or undergoing certain treatments. When you fall asleep, you typically enter Stage 1, and then move into and cycle between Stages 2 and 3. After cycling between those stages, you’ll ultimately go into REM sleep and start dreaming. After the first REM cycle, you start a new cycle and go back into Stage 1 or 2.

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This results in low levels of oxygen and increased levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. This alerts the brain to resume breathing and cause an arousal. With each arousal, a signal is sent from the brain to the upper airway muscles to open the airway. Frequent arousals, although necessary for breathing to restart, prevent restorative, deep sleep.

A 2015 review of 11 studies found an average prevalence of 22% in males and 17% in females. The exact number of people with navigate to these guys sleep apnea in the United States is difficult to determine. Obstructive sleep apnea might be a risk factor for COVID-19.

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