What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep. It can have a significant impact on an individual’s overall health and quality of life. 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

If you have one, or more, of these symptoms, you may be at risk of sleep apnea.

Types of sleep apnea:

There are two main types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

This is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the muscles in the throat relax and obstruct the airway during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing. The brain then sends signals to awaken the individual briefly to restore normal breathing, often accompanied by loud snoring or choking sounds. 

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

Unlike OSA, CSA is caused by a lack of respiratory effort. The brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing, resulting in periodic lapses in breathing during sleep. Snoring is less common in CSA compared to OSA.

Treating sleep apnea

There are many types of treatment available to suit your needs and your lifestyle.

Non-medical treatments and lifestyle changes

Positive airway pressure and adaptive ventilation devices

Oral appliances (mouthpieces)

Nerve stimulators


Certain medications

Sleep apnea is prevalent
and takes a toll.

There are many types of treatment available to suit your needs and your lifestyle.

Of 50M US adults with sleep apnea are untreated


People globally suffer from sleep apnea


Increased risk of diabetes and stroke for those with apnea


Increased odds of developing atrial fibrillation and dying from heart disease


Increased odds of premature birth for pregnant women with a sleep disorder

The dangers of
untreated sleep apnea

Heart damage and heart failure

Heart damage and heart failure

These are serious potential consequences of sleep apnea. The condition leads to elevated pressure in the blood vessels surrounding the heart and certain heart chambers. As a result, the heart experiences strain, leading to damage in the heart muscle.

Arrhythmias & Stroke

Arrhythmias & Stroke

One significant concern associated with sleep apnea is the development of arrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation disrupts the normal blood flow through the upper left chamber of the heart, causing blood to pool and linger for extended periods. This stagnant blood can lead to the formation of blood clots, which may then travel to the brain, resulting in a stroke.

Sudden Cardiac Death

Sudden Cardiac Death

Sleep apnea can also lead to a life-threatening condition known as sudden cardiac death. In some cases, severe arrhythmias triggered by sleep apnea can cause the heart to stop beating altogether.

Daytime Drowsiness

Daytime Drowsiness

Although feeling sleepy during the day might not seem alarming, it can pose significant dangers, especially in situations like driving or operating heavy machinery. Falling asleep during such activities can have fatal consequences for the affected individual and others around them.

How can I reduce my
risk or prevent sleep apnea?