sommeil plus  



What is sleep apnea ?

Sleep apnea is little-known disease that often goes undiagnosed but affects many people.

In developed countries, approximately 4% of people show signs of obstructive sleep apnea.

While sleeping, a person with sleep apnea syndrome undergoes a narrowing of the pharynx due to muscular relaxation. This leads to reduced air intake and snoring. If the airway becomes completely closed, the person temporarily stops breathing and suffers an episode of obstructive apnea.

> EPWORTH Sleepiness Scale

Such an episode may last for 10 seconds or more and can occur several hundred times per night. The sleep pattern is disturbed as the person rouses to breathe. Often the person is unaware of waking during the night but feels tired upon rising in the morning.

Sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) can severely affect a person’s quality of life (excessive daytime sleepiness, increased risk of traffic accidents, mood alteration and/or depression) and can lead to other health disorders (sexual dysfunction, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease).

Sleep apnea causes decreased blood oxygen levels (hypoxia) and an increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood (hypercapnia). Hypercapnia stimulates the patient to breathe by causing a brief waking.