Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last for several seconds to several minutes, and may occur, by definition, at least 5 times in an hour. Similarly, each abnormally shallow breathing event is called a hypopnea.
People have issues with excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and impaired alertness. In other words, common effects of sleep apnea include daytime fatigue, a slower reaction time, and vision problems.SA may increase risk for driving accidents and work-related accidents. If SA is not treated, one has an increased risk of other health problems such as diabetes.
Female SA patients had a lower mortality than males, irrespective of whether they received CPAP treatment. CPAP treatment improved survival, as illustrated by the hazard ratio of 0.62 (P<0.001). This effect was dependent on gender: CPAP had no significant effect on 20- to 39-year-old males and females, but the overall mortality in this age group was small. Survival was increased by CPAP in 40- to 59-year-old and ?60-year-old males, but no such effect was observed in females.