What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is more than just snoring. It’s a condition where a person stops breathing involuntarily while asleep. Repeated blockage of the pharynx, whether full (apnea) or partial (hypopnea), results in a lack of oxygen in the blood, causing frequent waking. Each apnea can last between 10 seconds to more than a minute and can occur five to ten times an hour.
In Canada, it is estimated that one out of four adults suffers from a mild form of sleep apnea, and that at least one out of 15 people suffers from a moderate to severe form of the disorder. After the age of 40, 24% of men and 9% of women are affected by it.