Sleep apnea

Researchers use NHANES to search for hypothyroid-sleep apnea link

Several past studies have sought to determine if a link exists between thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism, a decrease in thyroid hormone levels, and sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition in which a sleeping person's ...

Health

Sexual trauma common in postmenopausal women veterans

Thanks to increased media attention, sexual assaults occurring in the military are finally getting the attention they deserve. However, most reports involve reproductive-aged women Veterans from recent service eras. A new ...

Oncology & Cancer

More cancer cases among women with sleep apnea

Women with severe sleep apnea appear to be at an elevated risk of getting cancer, a study shows. No causal relationship is demonstrated, but the link between nocturnal hypoxia in women and higher cancer risk is still clear.

Sleep apnea

Solutions for leading sleep woes

The 'double whammy' of co-occurring insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a complex problem best managed with non-drug targeted psych interventions, a new Australian study has found.

Cardiology

Atrial fibrillation common and incurable, but controllable

One of the most common problems cardiologists handle is atrial fibrillation, also called AFib or AF. AFib is an abnormal or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

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Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea (or sleep apnoea in British English) is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. Each episode, called an apnea (Greek: ἄπνοια (ápnoia), from α- (a-), privative, πνέειν (pnéein), to breathe), lasts long enough so that one or more breaths are missed, and such episodes occur repeatedly throughout sleep. The standard definition of any apneic event includes a minimum 10 second interval between breaths, with either a neurological arousal (a 3-second or greater shift in EEG frequency, measured at C3, C4, O1, or O2), a blood oxygen desaturation of 3-4% or greater, or both arousal and desaturation. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, or a "Sleep Study".

Clinically significant levels of sleep apnea are defined as five or more episodes per hour of any type of apnea (from the polysomnogram). There are three distinct forms of sleep apnea: central, obstructive, and complex (i.e., a combination of central and obstructive) constituting 0.4%, 84% and 15% of cases respectively. Breathing is interrupted by the lack of respiratory effort in central sleep apnea; in obstructive sleep apnea, breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow despite respiratory effort. In complex (or "mixed") sleep apnea, there is a transition from central to obstructive features during the events themselves.

Regardless of type, the individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening. Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body (sequelae). Symptoms may be present for years (or even decades) without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance.

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