Sleep Apnea Essay

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Sleep apnea is a very common disorder in the United States. It is found in more than 18 million americans. It is a disorder in which the patient stops breathing while sleeping. This cessation of breathing causes the quality of sleep to deteriorate. It affects people of all ages, but people over forty are more likely to have this disorder. It is also more frequently found in men than compared to women. There are three kinds of sleep apnea: Obstructive, central and mixed. In obstructive sleep apnea, a blockage in the air pathway prevents one from breathing, causing the patient to stop breathing while sleeping. In the central sleep apnea, there is no blockage in the pathway, but instead, the patient ceases to breathe because the brain
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Regardless of these observations, the medical science has only started to understand sleep apnea from forty years ago. Researchers found that sleep apnea had correlations with obesity. Obesity causes obstruction because it increases the volume of the upper airway due to fat deposits and thus making the airway narrower. This narrowing of the airway can cause a blockage for the oxygen in the air to freely reach our lungs and for the excess CO2 to be exhaled out. This inability to breathe leads to the awakening of the patient which restores ventilation to the lungs. This cycle can occur many times during the sleep cycle and can create very disruptive sleep pattern. Since this is a very common medical condition, it is important to look for for the symptoms of this…show more content…
Polysomnography monitors the patient’s while they are asleep. PSG records the total time they were asleep, the number of apneas they had, the number of times they woke up, and how much snoring they did. It also monitors the movement of legs, electrocardiogram (ECG) and oximetry. ECG checks the electrical activity of the heart and oximetry monitors the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. Although polysomnography is a very accurate technique to diagnose sleep apnea, it is not very convenient and reasonably priced. Because of it being so complex and expensive, physicians now have simpler techniques to diagnose sleep apnea, which are probably less accurate, but, nonetheless more applicable to every

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