Join host Halena Gazelka, M.D., pain medicine specialist and medical director for Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, on the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast. From complex or serious conditions like cancer and heart disease to the latest news on research and wellness, Dr. Gazelka asks the questions and gets easy-to-understand answers from Mayo Clinic experts.

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Sep 28, 2019

What is Sleep Apnea?

By Margaret Shepard, @Margaret_Marie


An estimated 20 million Americans have sleep apnea, and many don’t even know it. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired after a full night's sleep, you might have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can affect people of any age, including infants and children, but it’s most often seen in men over 40, especially those who are overweight or obese.

Treatments for sleep apnea can include lifestyle changes, oral devices and sometimes surgery. Multiple effective treatment options are available for obstructive sleep apnea. And now there is a new treatment for the less common form of sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, or CSA. Previous treatments for central sleep apnea largely have been ineffective, as they haven't tackled the source of the problem. The new device, called Remedē, is an implanted device that stimulates the nerves and muscles that keep people with central sleep apnea breathing throughout the night. Mayo Clinic is the first in Minnesota to use the device, which is newly-approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

On this Mayo Clinic Radio program segment, Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, a Mayo Clinic sleep medicine specialist, will discuss diagnosing and treating sleep apnea.

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