An apnea is a period of time during which breathing stops or is markedly reduced. In simplified terms, an apnea occurs when a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or more. If you stop breathing completely or take less than 25% of a normal breath for a period that lasts 10 seconds or more, this is an apnea. This definition includes complete stoppage of airflow. Other definitions of apnea that may be used include at least a 4% drop in oxygen in the blood, a direct result of the reduction in the transfer of oxygen into the blood when breathing stops.
Sleep apnea is generally defined as the presence of more than 30 apneas during a six hour sleep. In severe cases, periods of not breathing may last for as long as 60 to 90 seconds and may recur up to 500 times a night.
Those who have OSA are often unaware of their condition and think they sleep well. The symptoms that usually cause these individuals to seek help are daytime drowsiness or complaints of snoring and breathing cessations observed by a bed partner. Other symptoms may include:
and Snoring with pauses in breathing (apnea)
and Excessive daytime drowsiness
and Gasping or choking during sleep
and Restless sleep-Restless leg syndrome
and Problem with mental function
and Poor judgment/can’t focus
and Memory loss
and Quick to anger
and High blood pressure
and Nighttime chest pain
and Problem with excess weight
and Large neck (>16.5″ around in men, >16″ around in women)
and Airway crowding
and Morning headaches
and Reduced libido, EJD,marital discord
and Frequent trips to the bathroom at night
and Day time sleepiness affecting work and Road traffic accidents
and Lack alertness
and Sleeping in separate bedroom
Score: If you suffer more than 10 of the above, you are in serious trouble. You need immediate treatment.