Dr. McPherson describes the symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea involves, you know, the definition involves cessation of breathing for more than ten seconds and we define the number of events that are considered abnormal as more than five per hour occurring during the night, and in most patients, the area of obstruction is back here behind the tongue as the airway goes down to the trachea or windpipe, so that when people lye down at night and fall asleep these muscles tend to relax and if that area is somewhat narrowed and completely collapses, it can completely obstruct that area so that patients are trying to breathe, but they are not moving any air because the airway is collapsed or closed.
And then that will usually trigger an awakening or arousal in the brain, which the patient may not recall or remember, but may occur with each event. With each event some patients will also have problems with low oxygen levels or increase in heart rate, which can also have adverse effects.
About Dr. Charles D. McPherson, M.D.:
Dr. Charles D. McPherson is the Director of the Sleep Disorder Center at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. He also specializes in pulmonary diseases and internal medicine at the Pulmonary Specialist Group of Nevada.