The Greek word apnoia literally means “without breath”. There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central and mixed. Of the three, obstructive is the most common. Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during the night – often for a minute or longer.
- Choking or interrupted breathing during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- A strong urge to sleep during the day
- Jerking limb movements during sleep
- Awakening tired and thirsty
Severe sleep apnea can result in serious health complications, including high blood pressure, heart rhythm disturbances, and even heart failure. People with undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea are more likely to be involved in automobile accidents while driving, due to lack of sleep.
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