What Is Apnea?

Snoring is NOT cool! We all have stories about someone we know who rattles the walls (maybe it’s you). What you may not know is that it can be deadly. That classic snoring sound is caused by a partial obstruction of the airway in the back of the throat. If you have heard a snoring person suddenly stop breathing, then gasp for air, you have witnessed an ‘apnea’.

These partial airflow restrictions and complete pauses typically last between 10 and 30 seconds. These pauses can happen hundreds of times a night, leading to abrupt reductions in blood oxygen levels. This increases the heart rate, the blood pressure and load on the heart. Now it has progressed from snoring to sleep apnea and is potentially life-threatening. Also, the brain alerts the body to its lack of oxygen causing a brief arousal from sleep in an effort to restore normal breathing. The result is a fragmented quality of sleep, hence fatigue.

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J.C. Goodwin, DMD
3192 N Windsong Dr.,
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314

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