ABC Medical Center > Sleep apnea

What is Sleep apnea?

15:58 - 22 May , 2021


Among sleep disorders, apnea consists of the momentary and frequent cessation of breathing while you sleep. It is a condition that can lead to serious respiratory and cardiac situations depending on the severity of the case.

There are several types of apnea: the obstructive is the most common and simple, it occurs when the respiratory obstruction is caused by the tension of the throat muscles; another is the so-called central apnea due to a brain dysfunction that prevents the brain from sending the correct orders to the muscles of the respiratory system; while the third type is a combination of the previous two, being the most serious.

Potential causes and risks:

This problem occurs when the various throat muscles remain rigid and cause a respiratory blockage that causes a decrease in oxygen in the blood, waking you up many times during the night (between seven and 40 times per hour), which makes it impossible to achieve deep sleep, preventing rest.

There are several aspects that significantly increase the possibility of suffering from sleep apnea:

  • Obesity.
  • Chronic breathing problems.
  • Smoking and alcoholism.
  • Conditions such as asthma, diabetes, Parkinson’s, hypertension, and heart failure.
  • Being a male senior citizen since this is the most prone profile.
  • Having relatives with this disease.

Signs and symptoms Sleep apnea

  • Snoring and gasping when sleeping.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Tiredness.
  • Feel like sleeping throughout the day.

Diagnosis and treatment Sleep apnea

Once your symptoms and medical history have been analyzed, your doctor will refer you to a sleep disorders clinic to determine if you suffer from apnea through tests that monitor your sleep periods.

If the diagnosis is confirmed, you should probably consult specialists in cardiology, neurology, or otorhinolaryngology to define the causes of its appearance. When it comes to mild apnea problems, it is common that you are recommended to exercise, lose weight, and stop smoking, in addition to prescribing medications to treat the symptoms.

However, for milder cases of sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend only a few lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. However, if the problem is not corrected, surgery will be necessary, either bariatric or to enlarge the airways. At the Nutrition & Obesity Center, we offer you comprehensive care according to your needs to help you have a healthy lifestyle, control your weight, change your body composition, prevent and manage associated diseases, as well as improve your physical and sports performance. We have specialized schemes for accelerated and sustained weight loss under the supervision of a multidisciplinary team, based on safe and scientifically supported methods.


  • Uribe WAC. Consecuencias metabólicas de la apnea del sueño . Rev Neurol Neurocir Psiquiat. 2018;46(2):65-71.
  • Guerrero-Zúñiga S, Gaona-Pineda EB, Cuevas-Nasu L, et al. Prevalencia de síntomas de sueño y riesgo de apnea obstructiva del sueño en México. salud publica mex. 2018;60(3):347-355.
  • Carrillo-Mora P, Barajas-Martínez KG, Sánchez-Vázquez I, et al. Trastornos del sueño: ¿qué son y cuáles son sus consecuencias?. Rev Fac Med UNAM . 2018;61(1):6-20.

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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.