What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea means that you frequently stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. It can be mild to severe, based on the number of times an hour that you stop breathing or have slowed breathing.
Blocked or narrowed airways in your nose, mouth, or throat can cause sleep apnea. Your airway can become blocked when your throat muscles and tongue relax during sleep.
You can help treat sleep apnea at home by making lifestyle changes. You also can use a CPAP breathing machine that keeps tissues in the throat from blocking your airway. Or your doctor may suggest that you use a breathing device while you sleep. It helps keep your airway open. This could be a device that you put in your mouth. In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove enlarged tissues in the throat.