Sleep apnea also called sleep disordered breathing, is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. Each pause can last for a few seconds to several minutes and may happen frequently during the night. In the most common form, this follows loud snoring. There may be a choking or snorting sound as breathing resumes. As it disrupts normal sleep, those affected are often sleepy or tired during the day.
There are three forms of sleep apnea: obstructive (OSA), central (CSA), and a combination of the two called mixed.
OSA is the most common form. In OSA, breathing is interrupted by a blockage of airflow, while in CSA breathing stops due to a lack of effort to breathe. People with sleep apnea are often not aware they have it. Often it is first observed by a family member.
Sleep apnea is diagnosed with an overnight sleep study called Polysomnography.
OSA in Indian males varies from 4.4% to 19.7% and in females it was between 2.5% to 7.4% from various studies.
A polysomnography -- or sleep study -- is a multiple-parameters test that electronically transmits and records specific physical activities while you sleep. The recordings are analyzed to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea or another type of sleep disorder.
During a sleep study, surface electrodes will be put on your face and scalp that will send recorded electrical signals to the measuring equipment. These signals, which are generated by your brain and muscle activity, are then recorded digitally. Belts will be placed around your chest and abdomen to measure your breathing. A oximeter probe will be put on your finger to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood.