By Brian Kravitz
Troy University School of Nursing
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a cessation or pause from breathing
These pauses can last from 10 – 30 seconds.
There can be upwards of 400 of these pauses during a
single nights sleep.
What Are The Risk Factors?
Anyone can be at risk for Sleep Apnea:
More About Risk Factors
People who snore excessively
People with cardiac problems
People that are obese or overweight
Individuals with pre-existing respiratory
Population With Sleep Apnea
Over 12 million people suffer from Sleep
That equates to 1 in 5 individuals.
This brings us to roughly 4% of middle-aged
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
A complete or partial obstruction of the airway
An enlarged uvula
Insufficient room in the mouth for the tongue
Complications If Left Untreated
Since Sleep Apnea deals primarily with the
respiratory system the following can be
Stroke or CVA
Cardiac Arrest or arrhythmias
Respiratory Distress or Arrest
Poor work/school performance
Muscle Relaxant Medications
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
What is CPAP?
CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
mask, is a device that sends forced moisturized
air into the patients nose/mouth.
It prevents the body from forgetting to breathe
or having an apneic episode.
Usually younger patients that cannot tolerate
Patients with jawbones that prevent the tongue
from seating properly in the mouth
Morbidly obese patients may have bariatric
surgery to lose weight
Sleep Apnea Physician’s
Discuss your sleep patterns with your primary
Generally a referral to a Pulmonologist is
A referral to a physician that specializes in sleep
medicine may be more appropriate.
Sleep Apnea Resources
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea Information and Resources
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Implications for
Cardiac and Vascular Disease