What's sleep apnea
What's Sleep Apnea

What’s Sleep Apnea: 11 Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors

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In this article, we will discuss about What’s Sleep Apnea: Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors

What’s Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person’s breathing to stop temporarily for several times while sleeping. This condition can be characterized by snoring during sleep and still feeling sleepy after a long sleep.

The term apnea in sleep apnea means breathing stops. Sleep apnea sufferers can stop breathing for about 10 seconds as much as hundreds of times during sleep. This condition is very dangerous because it causes the body to lack oxygen. In women, this condition can sometimes cause snoring while pregnant.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

After knowing about What’s Sleep Apnea, then, what are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?

In many cases, patients are unaware of the symptoms of sleep apnea. Some of these symptoms are actually realized by people who sleep with the sufferer. Some common symptoms that arise when sleep apnea sufferers are sleeping are:

  • Snore loudly.
  • Stop breathing, for several times while sleeping.
  • Shortly trying to take a breath while sleeping.
  • Waking from sleep due to feeling a choke or coughing at night.
  • Sleeplessness (Insomnia).

In addition to the symptoms that arise during sleep, patients with sleep apnea can also feel complaints after waking from sleep, among others:

  • Waking up with the mouth feeling dry.
  • Headaches when wakes up.
  • Felt very sleepy during the day.
  • Difficulty concentrating, learning, or remembering something.
  • Experiencing mood swings and irritability.
  • Decreased libi**do.

When should You check with a doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Snores loudly that annoys other people’s sleep or your own sleep
  • Shortness of breath, breathless, or choking that wakes you up from sleep
  • There is a pause in breathing during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Tired, sleepy, and irritable.

What causes sleep apnea?

The cause of sleep apnea, according to its type is:

Obstructive sleep apnea

When the back muscles of the throat relax, the respiratory tract narrows and closes while breathing. These muscles support the soft palate, the uvula, the Tonsils, the side walls of the throat, and the tongue.

When the muscles are relaxed, your airway narrowed or closes as you breathe, you cannot get enough air, thus lowering the oxygen level in your blood.

Your brain senses your inability to breathe and wakes you up with a short time. It usually wakes up very briefly until patients with sleep apnea do not remember it.

When this happens, you may be choked. This pattern can be repeated five to 30 times or more every hour, all night, disrupting your ability to achieve a deep sleep phase.

Central sleep Apnea

The patient’s brain fails to transmit signals for breathing muscles. This makes the muscles not breathe for some time. Patients can wake up with shortness of breath or have difficulty sleeping.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can attack anyone, even children. But certain factors increase the risk.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Factors that increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea, include:


Obesity greatly increases the risk of sleep apnea. Deposits of fat around the upper airway may block breathing.

Read also:
Obese Vs Overweight: The Differences + Table

Neck circumference.

People with thicker necks may have narrower airway.

A narrow airway.

Some people may inherit a narrow throat. The tonsil or thyroid gland can also enlarge and obstruct the airway, especially in children.


Men are two to three times more risky to experience sleep apnea than women. However, women experience an increased risk if they are overweight and their risks also seem to increase after menopause.


Sleep apnea occurs more frequently in older persons.

Family history.

People who have family members with higher risk sleep apnea experience the same condition.

Use of alco**hol or sedatives.

These substances loosen the muscles in the throat which can worsen obstructive Sleep Apnea.


Smo**kers are three times more risky to experience obstructive sleep apnea than people who never smo**ke. This is because smo**king can increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway.

Nasal congestion.

If experiencing difficulty breathing through the nose, either from an anatomical or allergic problem, you may experience obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Central Sleep Apnea

Risk factors for this type of sleep apnea include:


Middle-aged and older people have a higher risk of central sleep apnea.


Central sleep apnea is more common in men than in women.

Heart disorders.

Having congestive heart failure increases the risk.

Using nar**cotic pain medication.

Taking opi**oid drugs, especially those that are durable can increase the risk of central sleep apnea.


Stroke increases the risk of emergence of central Sleep Apnea.

Read also:
How To Cure Sleep Apnea Naturally

Thank you very much for reading What’s Sleep Apnea: Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors, hopefully useful.

Last Updated on November 14, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team

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