What is sleep apnea?
Perhaps most Hong Kong people have already heard of sleep apnea. As the name suggests, "sleep apnea" is a breathing disorder related to sleep. For patients who suffer from sleep apnea, their upper respiratory tracts may be obstructed due to various conditions. Sometimes the patients' breathing command could be affected by problems in the central nervous system, which would result in repeated suffocation during sleep. As this reduces the oxygen content of the blood, patients would suddenly wake up to take normal breaths and then fall back into sleep. Since the condition makes it difficult for patients to enter a deep sleep state and gain sufficient rest, their health and energy level during the day could take a toll.
Therefore, patients tend to develop headaches, tiredness, bad-temper or even become easily agitated. In worse cases, the heart would pump faster in order to compensate for the hypoxia due to suffocation, thereby increasing the workload on blood vessels and the heart. This will increase the risk of serious diseases such as hypertension and heart diseases.