What Is Sleep Apnea?

What is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea syndrome is defined as at least 5 events per hour of both hypopnea and apnea. Sleep Apnea dentist Drs. Hammouda and Abramson are specialist in Northern California who treats patients with sleep apnea.

So what is hypopnea and what is an apnea? A hypopnea is defined as a reduction of airflow of at least 30% lasting for 10 seconds and reducing oxygen at least 4%. While an apnea is defined as a stoppage of a complete lack of airflow for at least 10 seconds or more during one’s sleep with at least a 4% drop in oxygen saturation of the blood.

If during this lack of airflow there is evidence that the chest muscles are trying to breathe, but can’t draw air into the chest an obstruction is causing of the problem. Despite the effort to breathe, air cannot be pulled through the throat usually involving the area in back of the base of the tongue. This is obstructive sleep apnea or can’t breathe.

If there is no chest muscle effort to breathe during the apnea, this supports a lack of effort rather than an obstruction. This is called a central sleep apnea because the brain center is not signaling the chest muscles to breathe while you are asleep. This is won’t breathe.

These two types of apneas distinguish between obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and central sleep apnea syndrome.

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