13 doctors weighed in:
What is sleep apnea?
13 doctors weighed in

Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine
8 doctors agree
In brief: Not breathing
Apnea is breath-holding, or not breathing.
Some people have periods of time they don't breath while they are asleep. Sometimes it is related to body weight, other times it is neurological. Treatment usually involves weight loss, mouthguards to reposition the mouth, or even cpap. If not treated, this can lead to lung/heart problems, chronic fatigue, weight gain, and high blood pressure.

In brief: Not breathing
Apnea is breath-holding, or not breathing.
Some people have periods of time they don't breath while they are asleep. Sometimes it is related to body weight, other times it is neurological. Treatment usually involves weight loss, mouthguards to reposition the mouth, or even cpap. If not treated, this can lead to lung/heart problems, chronic fatigue, weight gain, and high blood pressure.
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Thank
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Choking
There are two types of sleep apnea, both leading to cessation of airflow to the lungs.
Central apnea is the less common one and is due to brain controls not sending the signal to breathe. The more common obstructive type is caused by a relaxation of the muscles in the neck to the point of obstruction of airflow. In that situation, there is an effort to breathe, but the windpipe is blocked.

In brief: Choking
There are two types of sleep apnea, both leading to cessation of airflow to the lungs.
Central apnea is the less common one and is due to brain controls not sending the signal to breathe. The more common obstructive type is caused by a relaxation of the muscles in the neck to the point of obstruction of airflow. In that situation, there is an effort to breathe, but the windpipe is blocked.
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Dr. Carlo Hatem
Thank
Dr. John Feola
Internal Medicine
In brief: R/O OSA
OSA can be suggested by history and physical.
Excess snoring/daytime sleepiness/apneic episodes/ aM headaches. And the Exam obesity/small oral airway/collar size>18. The definitive test is a PSG with split night/CPAP titration. I would request copy of sleep study and get a second opinion if you are not satisfied with the options. You are young CPAP can be difficult to tolerate. ENT FOR UPP EVAL.

In brief: R/O OSA
OSA can be suggested by history and physical.
Excess snoring/daytime sleepiness/apneic episodes/ aM headaches. And the Exam obesity/small oral airway/collar size>18. The definitive test is a PSG with split night/CPAP titration. I would request copy of sleep study and get a second opinion if you are not satisfied with the options. You are young CPAP can be difficult to tolerate. ENT FOR UPP EVAL.
Dr. John Feola
Dr. John Feola
Thank
Dr. Ravi Chand
Psychiatry
In brief: Sleep Apnea
If you have symptoms such as insomnia snoring hypersomnia excessive daytime sleepiness obesity asian race cognitive deficits mood disorders htn etc increase the chance of sleep apnea rule out other causes, could be medical, genetic long sleeper etc.

In brief: Sleep Apnea
If you have symptoms such as insomnia snoring hypersomnia excessive daytime sleepiness obesity asian race cognitive deficits mood disorders htn etc increase the chance of sleep apnea rule out other causes, could be medical, genetic long sleeper etc.
Dr. Ravi Chand
Dr. Ravi Chand
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Donald Jacobson
Great answerRavi: I would just add early morning headaches , thick neck, football players, observed stops in breathing at night, waking up gasping for air and history of cardiac arrhythmia .
Read more answers from doctors