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Sleep Apnea and Snoring Appliances

Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which there are pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. People without sleep apnea have airways that remain open. This allows the flow of oxygen into your lungs while inhaling and exit of carbon dioxide from your lungs when you exhale. There are different types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. This type of sleep apnea can be mild or severe depending on how much your airways have narrowed or have been completely blocked. If the airway collapses a little bit, the airflow becomes partially blocked. This makes it difficult for air to pass through your lungs when you inhale. Any air that escapes past creates a snore. Sometimes the airway can become completely blocked with completely no air flow to the lungs. This is called apnea. Because there is no air flowing into the body, there is a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood. This signals the brain to disrupt your sleep which helps your airways open up. Sometimes this ends in a gasp. Normal breathing happens until another obstruction occurs. These obstructions may last seconds to minutes and can happen 1-100 times per hour.

 

 

More at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea/