Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea is a multifactorial sleep disorder that is gaining greater recognition among physicians and the lay public. Stedman's Medical Dictionary defines apnea as the absence of breathing or the want of breath. Sleep apnea is defined as 30 or more apneic episodes which is the cessation of airflow at the mouth or nose for more than 10 seconds occurring during seven hours of nocturnal sleep.
Apnea severity is usually categorized by the frequency of apnea episodes:
These episodes can last anywhere between 10 to 120 seconds each, terminating with at least a partial wakening. Typically, a patient may have as many as 300 apneic episodes per night.
There are three basic classifications of sleep apnea:
- Central Sleep Apnea
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Mixed Apnea
Because the etiology of obstructive sleep apnea is multifactorial and the treatment options are varied, proper diagnosis and treatment would serve best when handled by a team.