What is sleep apnea

Sleep apnoea or more scientifically the sleep apnoea-hypopnoea syndrome (SHS) is a condition characterised by complete (apnoea) or partial (hypopnoea) cessation of breathing during sleep.

For this interruption to be considered abnormal, it must last more than 10 seconds. In the vast majority of cases, the breathing stop is due to a complete or partial obstruction at the level of the pharynx (mainly in the area behind the soft palate and tongue), so it is called obstructive CHF. Much more rarely, the problem is found in the central nervous system’s central regulation of breathing, so we are talking about a central type of CAHY.

In this case breathing is stopped, but the upper airways remain open.

What happens during apnoeic episodes that makes them dangerous?

Firstly, the saturation of haemoglobin is reduced, resulting in a reduced oxygen supply to the major organs. Respiratory episodes cause the release of episodes of bradycardia or other arrhythmias. In addition, many respiratory episodes end with micro-wakeings of the brain, events that destroy the microarchitecture of sleep and lead to daytime symptoms.

Source : https://www.mermigkis.gr/

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