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cessation of breathing, especially during sleep. The most common type is adult sleep apnea. Central apnea in which there is failure of the central nervous system drive to respiration sometimes occurs in infants younger than 40 weeks after the date of conception.
adult sleep apnea frequent and prolonged episodes in which breathing stops during sleep. Diagnosis is confirmed by monitoring the subject during sleep for periods of apnea and lowered blood oxygen levels. Sleep apnea is divided into three categories: (1) obstructive, resulting from obstruction of the upper airways; (2) central, caused by some pathology in the brain's respiratory control center; and (3) mixed, a combination of the two (see above).
Treatment. Obstructive and mixed types are amenable to therapy. Since many sleep apnea patients are overweight, weight loss improves the symptoms. Central sleep apnea is the most difficult to control. Medications to stimulate breathing have not proven beneficial. Mechanical ventilation or administration of oxygen during the night may help some patients.

The most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is nasal continuous positive airway pressure, which the patient uses during sleep; the positive pressure exerted prevents the airway from obstructing. Another method that may be tried is a dental appliance to move the jaw forward during sleep. In the most refractory cases, such as when an anatomical airway obstruction can be demonstrated, surgery to remove it may be performed after consultation with a surgeon experienced in evaluating and treating such obstructions. Another treatment that is occasionally used is insertion of a special type of tracheostomy tube that can be plugged during the day for normal use of the upper airway and opened at night to bypass upper airway obstruction
central apnea (central sleep apnea) see adult sleep apnea.
deglutition apnea a temporary arrest of the activity of the respiratory nerve center during an act of swallowing.
initial apnea a condition in which a newborn fails to establish sustained respiration within two minutes of delivery.
late apnea cessation of respiration in a newborn for more than 45 seconds after spontaneous breathing has been established and sustained.
mixed apnea see adult sleep apnea.
obstructive apnea (obstructive sleep apnea) see adult sleep apnea.
primary apnea cessation of breathing resulting when a fetus or newborn infant is deprived of oxygen; exposure to oxygen and stimulation usually restore respiration.
prolonged infantile apnea sudden infant death syndrome.
secondary apnea a period of time following primary apnea during which continued asphyxia of the fetus or newborn, with a fall in blood pressure and heart rate, necessitates artificial ventilation for resuscitation and reestablishment of ventilation.
sleep apnea transient periods when breathing stops during sleep; see adult sleep apnea.


(ap'nē-ă), Although the correct pronunciation of this word is with stress on the second-last syllable, the pronunciation shown is usually heard in the U.S.
Absence of breathing.
[G. apnoia, want of breath]


/ap·nea/ (ap´ne-ah) cessation of breathing.apne´ic
central sleep apnea  sleep apnea from failure of stimulation by medullary respiratory centers.
obstructive sleep apnea  sleep apnea from collapse or obstruction of the airway during sleep, such as in the obese.
sleep apnea  transient attacks of apnea during sleep, resulting in acidosis and pulmonary arteriolar vasoconstriction and hypertension.




(ăp′nē-ə, ăp-nē′ə)
Temporary absence or voluntary cessation of breathing.

ap·ne′ic adj. & n.


[apnē′ə, ap′nē·ə]
Etymology: Gk, a + pnein, not to breathe
an absence of spontaneous respiration. Types of apnea include cardiac apnea, deglutition apnea, periodic apnea of the newborn, primary apnea, reflex apnea, secondary apnea, and sleep apnea. Also spelled apnoea. -apneic, adj.


Sleep disorders A cessation of airflow of ≥ 10 seconds Grading Mild-obstructive apnea-hypopnea index of ≤ 20; moderate 20–40; severe ≥ 40. See Obstructive apnea-hypopnea index.


Absence of spontaneous breathing.
Synonym(s): apnoea.
[G. apnoia, want of breath]


The temporary absence of breathing. Sleep apnea consists of repeated episodes of temporary suspension of breathing during sleep.

apnea (apˑ·nē·),

n cessation of breathing; arrested respiration.


Absence of breathing.
[G. apnoia, want of breath]


1. temporary cessation of breathing.
2. asphyxia.

sleep apnea
transient attacks of failure of autonomic control of respiration, becoming more pronounced during sleep and resulting in acidosis and pulmonary arteriolar vasoconstriction and hypertension.

Patient discussion about apnea

Q. Any advice on Fibromyalgia or Sleep Apnea? Hi there, any advice on Fibromyalgia or Sleep Apnea? Just been there for the test for both and they said ‘yes’. It looks like I have them. Just need to know what to expect. Thanks a bunch in advance.

A. untreated sleep apnea can:
Increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes
Increase the risk for or worsen heart failure
Make irregular heartbeats more likely
Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents

so here's a list of things you can do:

Q. my ears do not hear well especially when it's cold. i hear my breath and heart beat. what's my prolem? Denis when i breathe it feels like the breath goes through the ear when the weather is cold or when i do some excercise like jogging

A. for ear infections or blocked ear tube - try out the eardoc www.eardoc.info

More discussions about apnea