Sleep apnea is classified as a dyssomnia, meaning abnormal behavior or psychological events occur during sleep.When breathing is paused, carbon dioxide builds up in the bloodstream. Chemoreceptors in the blood stream note the high carbon dioxide levels. The brain is signaled to wake the person sleeping and breathe in air. Breathing normally will restore oxygen levels and the person will fall asleep again.
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.
Treatment often starts with behavioral therapy. Many patients are told to avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and other sedatives, which can relax throat muscles, contributing to the collapse of the airway at night.As sleep apnea is inherently worse in the supine position for many patients (positional sleep apnea), sleeping on one's side is often advised.
According to a 2009 study, seven percent of Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Adults make up most of the sufferers, with nearly 20 percent of adult males and nine percent of adult females afflicted with some form of the disease at some time in their lives. Moderate-to-severe apnea affects nine percent of males and four percent of females.