Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. When a person has sleep apnea, he or she stops breathing for short periods of time. In most cases this lasts from 10 seconds to 1 minute or more while asleep. Then the person begins breathing again. A person may stop breathing only a few times or hundreds of times in the course of the night.

Sleep Apnea Risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Nasal congestion or obstruction
  • Large tonsils and/or adenoids, having a “crowded throat”, large tongue or small jaw
  • Lung disease, atrial fibrillation and heart failure
  • Scoliosis or muscle weakness
  • Sedating medicines and alcohol
  • Hypothyroidism and certain other endocrine (hormonal) disorders

Sleep Apnea has been associated with:

  • Heart attacks
  • Convulsions
  • Memory problems
  • Slowed thinking
  • Iirritability
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • High speed highway crashes