6 doctors weighed in:

In a person with sleep apnea, what causes the rises and falls in oxygen saturation of arterial blood during sleep?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Birnbach
Dentistry - Cosmetic
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is defined as stopping breathing for 10 seconds.
During that time, the body is not getting any oxygen. In addition , there can be instances that last less than 10 seconds, or where a less than adequate effort to breath is attempted. These also reduce the oxygen intake.

In brief: Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is defined as stopping breathing for 10 seconds.
During that time, the body is not getting any oxygen. In addition , there can be instances that last less than 10 seconds, or where a less than adequate effort to breath is attempted. These also reduce the oxygen intake.
Dr. Mark Birnbach
Dr. Mark Birnbach
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Dr. Michael Stern
Dentistry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No breaths=no oxygen

This is caused by the temporary stoppage/blocking of breathing which is found in sleep apnea.
Longer stoppage/blocking of breathing means less oxygen in the blood.

In brief: No breaths=no oxygen

This is caused by the temporary stoppage/blocking of breathing which is found in sleep apnea.
Longer stoppage/blocking of breathing means less oxygen in the blood.
Dr. Michael Stern
Dr. Michael Stern
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Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Lack of oxygen

When you stop breathing (apnea) oxygen and carbon dioxide do not exchange in the lungs.
Oxygen drops (hypoxia) and co2 increase (hypercapnia)... Classic response in a patient with apnea.

In brief: Lack of oxygen

When you stop breathing (apnea) oxygen and carbon dioxide do not exchange in the lungs.
Oxygen drops (hypoxia) and co2 increase (hypercapnia)... Classic response in a patient with apnea.
Dr. Patrick Melder
Dr. Patrick Melder
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
The anatomy of patients with obstructive sleep apnea allows the tongue to partially block the airway during deep sleep, leading to snoring, and intermittent inability to breathe (this usually causes brief awakening when the body responds to falling oxygen and rising CO2 levels).
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