Air Passages and Sleep apnea


Many of us have heard of sleep apnea as it relates to snoring. Just google sleep apnea and the advertisement abound of how you can stop your snoring with appropriate CPAP ( Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) type of devices

But what is sleep apnea? Wikipedia has this definition: ‘…a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep..”

And three main types:

• Obstructive sleep apnea: as the name implies something impedes the passage of air in the passages shown in the figure above. Probably the apnea involved with snoring

• Central sleep apnea: Rarer, involves the nervous system. Some diseases like Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis have been mention with a loose connection with such sleep apnea

• Mixed apnea and complex sleep apnea

The connection with cardiovascular issues has been studied [2,3]. Obviously , Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and sodium do not mix well…Then sleep apnea has connections with CHF. So it is not too surprising that there would be an interaction sleep apnea and sodium!

The way [3] puts it , though is interesting: “…The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that severity of sleep apnea (SA), assessed by frequency of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI]), is related to sodium intake in patients with heart failure (HF)…” In other words sodium would aggravates sleep apnea, at least for CHF patients.

Hmmm…Anyway there is a suspicion that sleep apnea can bring cardiovascular issues, even inflammation.[4]

Many sites such as the Mayo Clinic have a discussion on sleep apnea symptoms

Talk to your Doctor


[1] Wikipedia, sleep apnea
[2] clinics in chest medicine ; “Sleep apnea in congestive heart failure.”
[3] Journal of the American College of Cardiology ; Volume 58, Issue 19, 1 November 2011, Pages 1970-1974; ” Relationship Between Sodium Intake and Sleep Apnea in Patients With Heart Failure”

[4] South Med J. 2006 Jan;99(1):58-67; quiz 68-9, 81. ; “Inflammatory aspects of sleep apnea and their cardiovascular consequences…”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current month ye@r day *

© 2013-2019 Medical News Digest All Rights Reserved