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Sleep Apnea: A Silent But Deadly Condition

Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a pervasive disorder. It causes a person’s breathing to halt while sleeping, and as a result, their blood oxygen levels significantly drop. A person with sleep apnea will feel tired during the day, even after sleeping for several hours. Over time, sleep apnea can lead to several complications, such as depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Sleep apnea can be of three types:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea: In this type of apnea, the throat’s soft tissue collapses during sleep. As a result, the upper airway gets wholly or partially blocked. The diaphragm and the chest muscles then work harder to open the airway. A person with obstructive sleep apnea often breathes with loud gasps. It lowers sleep quality and reduces the flow of oxygen to vital organs.
  2. Central sleep apnea occurs when the central nervous system fails to function and there is no airway blockage. Instead, the brain cannot stimulate the respiratory muscles due to problems in the respiratory control centre. Central sleep apnea usu