What is Sleep Apnea?

apnea del sueño


The full name of this sleep breathing disorder is Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome or SAHS. It consists of repeated episodes of upper airway obstruction (UAO) that causes 10-30 second breathing pauses, known as apneas, during deep sleep.


In other words…

  • During sleep the muscles of the body, including those in the throat, relax. Because of this relaxation, the airway may become blocked, causing air to not flow normally.

  • When this happens and air does not flow through the airway for a few seconds, it is called apnea.

  • Each time an apnea occurs, there is a drop in oxygenation and the body reacts by forcing the lungs to search for air, causing transient awakenings or micro-wakenings.

  • This situation causes at the end of the night a fragmented and unrefreshing sleep.


Do I have sleep apnea?

A person who has long suffered from sleep apnea begins to experience a number of symptoms related to this sleep breathing disorder. It is not immediate, but usually occurs gradually. You may have been suffering for months, even years, from the consequences of having sleep apnea and not be aware of it.

Symptoms of sleep apnea

  • Daytime sleepiness in sedentary situations (working on the computer, watching TV, reading a book, etc.).

  • Lack of concentration.
  • Tiredness in the morning, even though patients are not usually aware that they have slept poorly or not at all.
  • Headaches in the morning or during the day.
  • Lack of reflexes in driving or professional activities.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Snoring.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Nocturia, which is the urge to urinate that is experienced during the night.
  • Mood disturbances.
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Sleep apnea has negative consequences on the health of people who suffer from it. Suffering from sleep apnea for a long time has similar effects on the body as sleep deprivation and can have consequences that lead to more serious diseases.

  • Heart failure

  • Diabetes

  • High blood presure

  • Suffering from Depression

  • Hiperactivity in children’s cases

  • Swelling of body parts

  • Associated with the prevalence Alzheimer’s of and Parkinson’s.

  • Workplace and traffic accidents.

  • More premature aging of the skin.


Causes that generate it

The causes of the prevalence of sleep apnea are diverse, some intrinsic, motivated by some internal factor, and some extrinsic, when the factor that causes it is external. In adults, the most common risk factors for sleep apnea are:

  • Age

  • Excess weight or obesity..

  • Physical, hereditary characteristics, such as a narrow airway or a wide neck.

  • Posture during sleep.
  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Menopause in women.
  • Presence of allergies.
  • Congestion of the upper tract.
  • Alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Consumption of certain medications.

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