Apnea means to stop breathing. Sleep apnea refers to a condition wherein you stop breathing during sleep. Most of us know someone who snores during sleep. You may also know someone who has commented that their partner has stopped breathing during sleep for seemingly long periods of – long enough to be frightening. While snoring is often made the subject of jokes or teasing, it could be an indication of serious health problem. The severity and danger associated with sleep apnea ranges from snoring that irritates your partner to life- threatening medical conditions. If the apnea involves physical obstruction of the upper airway and/or heavy snoring, it is sometimes referred to as Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). In this pamphlet we’ll focus on Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) as it is the most common form of sleep apnea.
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