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It is cessation of breathing via nose and mouth for 10 seconds at least which can recur many times during 7 hours of sleep cycle associated with and followed by a snort when breathing resumes.

These interruptions of sleep results in tiredness and daytime sleeping which increases chances of accidents during working hours, like accidents with operating machinery and traffic accidents.

Sleep apneic subjects, show snoring/gasping and sleepiness as symptoms; mouth breathing/excessive urination/poor hypertension control. Casual snoring is not obstructive sleep apnea and not as serious as sleep apnea, but most people with apnea do snore, however, snorers may not have sleep apnea. Snoring causes immense trouble to bed partner and can cause serious marital frictions. Headaches in morning could be the only indication to sleep apnea due to lack of oxygen in brain cells and accumulation of carbon dioxide in the blood causes dilatation of brain blood vessels, hence, causing headaches.

There are investigative tools for diagnosing sleep apnea like (Epsworth Sleepiness Scale). But most diagnostic test is proper sleep study called (Polysomnogram); followed by (Drug Induced Sleep Endoscopy – DISE), prior to surgical treatment of the condition upon proper diagnosis of the level of obstruction in the airways.

Exercise program and dieting could help to reduce weight and that helps in reducing snoring and blockage significantly as well as procedures of bariatric surgery (weight reducing surgery); but after failure of the of (continuous positive airway pressure device) like CPAP/BIPAP machines.

Written By: Dr. Farhad Nouri
M.B.Ch.B,FRCS (ENT) UK, FACS-USA
Consultant Otorhinolaryngologist (ENT)
Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons (UK)

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