What is Sleep Apnea Syndrome?

It is to stop breathing for more than 10 seconds during sleep. When these breathing pauses are frequent, then we are talking about Sleep Obstructive Sleep Syndrome (ASAS).

Where are the apneas due to sleep?


Sleep apneas are caused when the muscles of the soft palate, grape, tongue and tonsil relax, narrowing the airways to an extent that they become obstructed. In other people, the muscles relax naturally during sleep, but their pharynx closes because it is narrower than normal. This narrowing is usually due to the anatomical structure and to factors such as:

a) Greater than normal

b) less jaw than normal

(c) swollen tonsils

d) increased fatty tissue of obese pharynx

What ages does it concern?


It concerns all ages, even children, but the higher incidence of the syndrome is estimated at 10-24% of men and 6-9% of women aged 35-70 years.

What are the main symptoms?


  • Symptoms during sleep:

  • Snoring

  • Restless and troubled sleep with abrupt torso-limb movements

  • Awakening with suffocation

  • Night frequency

  • Night sweating

  • Gastric content reductions

  • Symptoms during alertness:

  • (when you are awake)

  • Dry mouth

  • Morning headaches and dizziness

  • Drowsiness

  • Bad memory

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Depression

What is the risk of suffering from sleep apnea syndrome?


- stroke                                                                 - stroke

- myocardial infarction                                          - cardiac arrhythmias

- heart failure                                                        - arterial hypertension

- angina pectoris                                                   - mental disorders

How is sleep study done?


The study is done from evening to morning in a specially designed area where the subject is asleep, while in a separate area are the recording machines and the specialized personnel who study the recording (nurse - nurse).

What is recorded during the examination?


During sleep, an encephalogram, an ophthalmogram, a myofogram and breath control are performed. Thus, sleeping stages, awakenings, arrhythmias, apneas (complete interruption of airflow in the lungs), suspicions (50% flow stoppage) and episodes of desaturation (oxygen drop) are recorded.

Is there a cure?


There is treatment depending on the severity of the condition. For mild cases it is recommended to avoid smoking, alcohol and weight loss.

In the event of anatomical anomaly such as nasal septal scoliosis, oversized tonsils, adenoid sprouts then require surgical correction.

If the problem is serious, then a classic treatment method is the application during sleep of a mask that is connected to a machine that produces Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP).

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