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What Is Sleep Apnea? - Dr. Wolfe (VIDEO)

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Dr. Wolfe describes sleep apnea and the triggers that can worsen this condition.

Dr. Wolfe:
Sleep apnea in women gets worse after menopause. Estrogen is protective for women. Weight gain is a significant factor. Thyroid disease is common in women and can affect sleep apnea, as well as just bad genes. If you’ve got a family history of snoring, you are more at risk of having apnea.

Sleep apnea is a disorder where you stop breathing for periods of time while you sleep. Usually these events last anywhere from 10 to 15 or even 30 seconds. Sometimes there will be an obstruction at the back of the throat; we call that an obstructive apnea. Sometimes the brain forgets to take a breath; we call that a central apnea.

About Dr. Lisa Wolfe, M.D.:
Dr. Lisa Wolfe, M.D., earned her medical degree from Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health. She completed her residency and her fellowship at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Wolfe is board certified in pulmonary disease, critical care medicine and sleep medicine.

Visit Dr. Wolfe at the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation

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