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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Mental and Behavioural Disorders Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder which is characterized by continuous interrupted breathing during sleep sometimes more than hundred times.


Sleep apnea is a kind of sleep disorder and two main types are


  • Obstructive sleep apnea: It is characterized by difficulty in the relaxing of the throat muscles during sleep.
  • Central sleep apnea: It is caused due to the improper signal from the brain to the muscles that control breathing.


Sleep apnea means reduced breathing and hence low oxygen level in the circulating blood due to the obstruction of the throat muscles during sleep in patients and produces the symptoms.

Sleep apnea is associated with


  • Obesity
  • Old age
  • Males are most commonly affected
  • Habitual snoring
  • Jaw abnormality
  • Down syndrome and Marfan syndrome in children
  • Diabetes, Hypertension and Stroke
  • Hypothyroidism and Acromegaly
  • It also runs in families 

Signs and symptoms of Sleep apnea

  • Dry and sore mouth early n the morning on waking up
  • Sleepiness inspite of sleeping for long time
  • Choking during sleep
  • Snoring
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Waking up with confusion and tiredness
  • Mood changes
  • Lack of Sexual interest.  


Diagnosis of sleep apnea is done by clinical symptoms and examination.

Body Mass Index is calculated for obesity, height and weight.

The lab test includes



The treatment of Sleep apnea includes


  • Weight reduction and life style modification,
  • Control of Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Acromegaly etc and other associated medical problems,
  • Supplemental oxygen,
  • Use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP),
  • Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP),
  • Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV),


If not correctable with this then surgical procedures may be required