Children's Health and Wellness

Take the Sleep Apnea Quiz

When your sleep is upset throughout the night, you can be very sleepy during the day. Perhaps you have sleep apnea--a breathing disorder marked by many brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.

1. Sleep apnea is most common among women.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Although sleep apnea occurs in both sexes and among all age groups, it is most often diagnosed in middle-aged men. It may be under-diagnosed in women. About 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. You are more likely to have or develop sleep apnea if you are overweight and snore, have high blood pressure, or have an abnormality in your nose, throat, or upper airway. Genes appear to play a role in sleep apnea, because the condition tends to run in families.A. TrueB. False2. A person with moderate sleep apnea may temporarily stop breathing during sleep as many as 30 times an hour.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Sleep apnea is graded as mild, moderate, or severe by the number of breathing cessations during an hour. Mild apnea is 5 to 15 times per hour, moderate is 15 to 30 times an hour, and severe is more than 25 times per hour.A. TrueB. False3. Snorting and gasping during sleep are symptoms of sleep apnea.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The snorting and gasping occur as you resume breathing after a temporary stop. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, frequent awakenings during the night, a choking sensation during sleep, daytime sleepiness, a morning headache, difficulty focusing attention, memory loss, irritability, and sexual dysfunction.A. TrueB. False4. A person who snores always has sleep apnea.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Although just about everyone with sleep apnea snores, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when air moving through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose is blocked. This area, where the soft palate and uvula meet the tongue and upper throat, can collapse and vibrate during breathing. Besides sleep apnea, common causes of snoring include poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat, caused by alcohol or drugs; too much throat tissue in the form of enlarged tonsils and adenoids; a long soft palate and/or uvula; and a stuffy or blocked nose.A. TrueB. False5. Of the two forms of sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is much more common.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is There are two forms of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea, in which air cannot flow in or out of a person's nose or mouth, is much more common. In central sleep apnea, the brain fails to send a signal to the breathing muscles to start breathing.A. TrueB. False6. One way to help get a good night's sleep if you have sleep apnea is to take a sleeping pill.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is You should not take sleeping pills if you have sleep apnea. You should also avoid consuming alcoholic beverages or smoking before going to bed. Many of these makes the airway more likely to collapse during sleep.A. TrueB. False7. Sleep apnea may be annoying, especially to those who have to listen to the snoring, but it's nothing to worry about.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is People with sleep apnea are sleepy during the day, and that daytime sleepiness puts them at risk for accidents when driving a vehicle or operating machinery. Over time, the increased pressure in the chest and heart caused by the airway obstruction can lead to thickening of the left ventricle (the heart's main pumping chamber) and, in turn, lead to hypertension and an increased risk of coronary disease. Sleep apnea also decreases a person's quality of life because it affects his or her mental state or mood. Many people with sleep apnea are unaware that they have the condition. Their spouses are the first to suspect that something is wrong, usually from the heavy snoring and apparent struggle to breathe. Co-workers and friends of the person with sleep apnea may notice that the individual falls asleep during the day, particularly at inappropriate times like working or talking. The person with sleep apnea may not believe others when told of the problem.A. TrueB. False8. One way to diagnose sleep apnea is to measure how quickly the person falls asleep during the day.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is A health care provider may have difficulty diagnosing sleep apnea because there can be many reasons for disturbed sleep. Your provider may order a mean wakefulness test or a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). People without sleep problems usually fall asleep in 10 to 20 minutes. People with a possible sleep disorder may fall asleep in less than 8 minutes. Besides the MSLT, polysomnography also helps diagnose the condition. Polysomnography looks at electrical activity of the brain, eye movement, muscle activity, heart rate, breathing effort, air flow, and blood oxygen levels during sleep.A. TrueB. False9. Surgery is the best treatment for sleep apnea.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The treatment of choice for sleep apnea is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), a scuba masklike breathing device that blows a regular stream of air through the nose and throat. This constant flow of air forces the floppy tissues to stay open, resulting in normal breathing. Other types of treatment include behavioral modifications, such as losing weight or using pillows so that you will sleep on your side; oral appliances that pull your jaw forward during sleep and prevent the airway from being obstructed; and oral or bariatric surgery. Some health care providers prescribe oxygen, but its use for this condition is controversial. Oxygen doesn't eliminate sleep apnea or prevent daytime sleepiness. Some people with sleep apnea may need surgery to increase the size of the airway. None of the surgical procedures used is completely successful or without risks. Some people may need more than one surgical procedure before their condition improves.A. TrueB. FalseYour score was:
Print Source: Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2013;159:s1-18.
Online Source: What is sleep apnea? National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Online Source: Brain basics, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Online Source: National Sleep Foundation
Author: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Editor: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Nelson, Gail A, MS, APRN, BC
Date Last Reviewed: 12/12/2013