Archive for October, 2011

Understanding Sleep Apnea, by Dr. James Murtagh

October 7, 2011

In the United States, more than 18 million people– nearly 1 in 4 men, and almost 1 in 10 women–are affected by sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by shallow breathing, or pauses between breaths that last anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. These gaps in normal breathing may occur as often as 30 times in an hour. Sleep apnea is typically a chronic disorder, and in more than half of the cases, it’s never diagnosed. Underdiagnosis contributes to 38,000 deaths a year from medical complications associated with the condition, which increases the chance of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.

There are three kinds of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common variety, caused by a blockage that occurs when soft tissue around the throat collapses and closes off the airway. Central apnea, which is responsible for less than five percent of all sleep apnea, occurs when the brain does not properly signal the muscles that control breath during sleep, causing breathing to stop and start throughout the night. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central apnea.

Overweight men over the age of 40 are the most likely to be diagnosed with sleep apnea. Overweight individuals sometimes store extra fat in the neck area, restricting the width of the airway and increasing the chance of becoming constricted during rest. In addition to lifestyle adjustments, including weight loss if necessary, sleep apnea sufferers may benefit from surgery and treatment aids like supplemental oxygen and mouthpieces.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio,  Dr James Murtagh is Medical Director of Eastgate laboratory, operated by SleepCare Diagnostics.

Sleep Apnea Testing – What Causes Sleep Apnea

sleep apnea test center of a local hospital. posted at

sleep apnea test center of a local hospital. posted at (Click Image to View: Sleep Apnea Testing - What Causes Sleep Apnea Video)

Video Posted by mysleepapneatest