Sleep Week

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Information for Patients

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lung Information for Patients

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a common but serious sleep disorder. The muscles at the back of your throat relax too much so your airway becomes blocked. This prevents oxygen from entering your lungs so your breathing is stopped or there will be periods of shallow breathing. Both can last from a few seconds to a few minutes and may happen many times a night.

Increased Risk Factors

Anyone can have sleep apnea, regardless of age, sex or body type. However, having any of the following factors may put you at increased risk: being older, gender, excess weight, a large neck circumference, family history, pregnancy, alcohol, smoking, or muscle-relaxant medication.

Symptoms and Signs of Sleep Apnea

The following is a list of common symptoms or signs of sleep apnea. If you have any of these symptoms or problems it may be helpful to discuss your risk of sleep apnea with your doctor: loud or frequent snoring, restless sleep, stopping breathing or gasping for air, daytime tiredness and sleepiness, poorly controlled blood pressure, dry mouth, restless sleep, or trouble paying attention or concentrating.

Treatment Options

Once a diagnosis has been made, there are several types of treatment option: PAP—positive airway pressure (CPAP, APAP, BiPAP), pral appliances, nasal devices, positional changes, and certain types of surgery or implants.

 

Patient Fact Sheets

ATS Breathing in America Book

The Breathing in America: Diseases, Progress, and Hope compilation briefly describes respiratory diseases and the progress that is being made in the quest to find their cures. Click here for the chapter on sleep-disordered breathing.

Disclaimer:
"The ATS Lung Disease Week Web site is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal medical attention, a diagnosis from a physician, or direct medical care. If you are concerned about your health or that of a family member, please consult your family's healthcare provider immediately. Do not wait for a response from our members, staff or partners.”