Apnea involves the cessation of breathing either temporarily for a few seconds to a minute or two or for a longer period, which can possibly cause someone to die.
Since breathing is an automatic process controlled by nerve impulses in the center of a brain stem to the muscles in the chest that regulate lung expansions and contractions, prolonged apneas can occur if the brain stem is damaged by a stroke, by a transient ischemic attack (symptoms of stroke lasting less than 24 hours), or by a head injury.
Prolonged apnea can also occur because of certain drugs or as the result of airway obstructions, usually by food, drink, vomit, or a small inhaled object.2. In zoology, a decrease or a minimal breathing in hibernating animals: Natural apneas take place when animals have periods of dormant (sleep) inactivities which usually occurs in winter with certain rodents, bats, and some large carnivores; such as bears.
2. A temporary suspension of breathing occurring repeatedly during sleep that often affects overweight people or those having an obstruction in the breathing tract, an abnormally small throat opening, or a neurological disorder.
Central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea and can require mechanical ventilation.
The air cannot flow through the nose or mouth, although efforts to breathe are made by the person. The basic problem may be blockage in the mouth or nose.
Sleep apnea that is associated with air passage obstruction may require losing excessive weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, sleeping on one side, medications to relieve nasal congestion, a breathing device, or some kind of surgical procedure.
2. Sleep apnea is classified as obstructive or central.
Medical treatment depends on the type of sleep apnea present
- Sleep apnea which is associated with air passage obstruction may require losing excessive weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, sleeping on one side, medications to relieve nasal congestion, a breathing device, or surgical procedures.
- Central sleep apnea is uncommon and caused by problems in the brain that impair the signals to breathe and can require mechanical ventilation.