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Mar 2

Describe pathophysiology of apnea?

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Mar 2
Apnea is a condition characterized by the temporary cessation of breathing, which can be caused by a variety of factors. The pathophysiology of apnea can vary depending on the underlying cause, but in general, it involves a disruption in the normal respiratory process.

One common type of apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing. This obstruction can be caused by factors such as excess weight, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, or a narrow airway. When the airway is blocked, the muscles in the throat and chest must work harder to try to open it, leading to increased effort in breathing and potentially causing the person to wake up briefly to resume breathing.

Another type of apnea is central sleep apnea, which occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. This can be caused by conditions such as heart failure, stroke, or certain medications that affect the respiratory center in the brain. In central sleep apnea, the person may not make any effort to breathe during the pauses in breathing, leading to a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood.

Regardless of the type of apnea, the pauses in breathing can lead to a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood and an increase in carbon dioxide levels, which can have a variety of negative effects on the body. These effects can include fatigue, daytime sleepiness, headaches, and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Overall, the pathophysiology of apnea involves a disruption in the normal respiratory process, leading to pauses in breathing and potential complications due to decreased oxygen levels in the blood. Treatment for apnea typically involves addressing the underlying cause, such as weight loss, CPAP therapy, or surgery to remove obstructions in the airway.

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