What is sleep-disordered breathing?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021
  • Author: Charles E Morgan, DMD, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Snoring, excessive daytime somnolence, restless sleep, and apnea are manifestations of sleep-disordered breathing. Understanding of the pathophysiology related to these problems has led to some successes in nonsurgical and surgical interventions.

Numerous sleep disorders are organized in the International Classification of Sleep Disorders by the American Sleep Disorders Association. The primary disorders that may warrant surgical intervention include snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The surgical management of OSA is discussed below.

Apnea is obstructive only when polysomnography reveals a continued inspiratory effort, evidenced by abdominal and thoracic muscle contraction. [1]  In central apnea, absence of airflow accompanies a lack of inspiratory effort, and this condition is not amenable to surgical correction. At times, apnea may be mixed, occurring with obstructive and central apnea symptoms. Patients with this condition present a therapeutic challenge to the surgeon.

Go to Obstructive Sleep Apnea for more complete information on this topic.


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