What Is Sleep Apnea And Why Should You Get Tested?

(Last Updated On: March 2, 2017)

Sleep disorders are something that people generally take lightly- like a mild case of insomnia or the irregular snoring. But these small things may prove fatal if they are not treated in time. Such is the case of sleep apnea.

It is the type of sleeping disorder characterised by gaps in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during the normal sleep cycle. Each pause can last for a few seconds to several minutes, which could happen many times in a night. The obstruction of breathing during sleep is what lists it under a potentially serious disorder.

Young woman snoring in bed.

Often misinterpreted, this disorder is quite common, affecting over 10 million cases per year, only in India. The most common form of it is snoring. Though a person in effect of sleep apnea might be a loud snorer, this does not mean that every loud snorer is diagnosed with it.

However, a choking or snorting produced, as breathing resumes, is quite common with the patients. Though people suffering from this disorder are not often aware of it, hence left untreated it can last for years or even become a lifelong problem.

1The Common Forms Taken Up By Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can manifest itself in three different forms:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is the most common form of sleep apnea found in people. It is caused because of the breathing interrupted by blockage of airflow. Due to the relaxation of muscles and tissues, due to various reasons, in our neck and throat region, the breathing passage is blocked due to which the person encounters a problem of difficulty in breathing.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: This is the comparatively rarer type, affecting less than 1 percent of the people. In this, breathing stops due to the lack of effort to breathe.
  • Mixed Sleep Apnea: This is the mixture of the obstructive and central type of sleep apnea.
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Dr.Rajprabha Patra practiced as a Dental Surgeon for 5 years before making a switch into the business domain with an MBA from ISB. As the Product Manager for Counselling Services at Portea, she aims to make a difference in the way mental health is perceived in India.


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