Sleep apnea treatment is a topic of much controversy. However, before treatment methods can be understood it is important to first understand exactly what sleep apnea is.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that affects as many as 1 in 15 Americans and millions of people worldwide according to a 1993 study by the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort. It is characterized by interruptions in breathing and/or episodes of very shallow breathing during sleep.
Often due to mechanical blockages in the windpipe and sometimes due to neurological disorders, each pause in breathing (referred to as an apnea) can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. These interruptions in breathing can occur 30 times or more per hour and hundreds of times per night.
Sleep apnea is generally a chronic condition when not treated and often disrupts sleep nightly. Each time breathing is interrupted, a person must wake up enough for the muscles of the windpipe to contract and resume breathing. Many people wake gasping for air or with a loud snort and/or choking sound. Read the rest of this entry