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Very loud snoring with pauses in breathing may be a sign of a very serious medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Best described as breathing that stops and starts
during sleep.

This is a very serious medical condition because sudden drops in blood oxygen raises blood pressure and strains the cardiovascular system. This disorder affects approximately 4% of women, and 9% of men between the ages of 30-60. Usually overweight people get this disorder, but there are cases of children and people having it and not being over weight.

The stoppage of breathing can last 10 seconds or longer, and occurs because muscles that support the back of the throat ( the soft plate, uvula, tonsils, and tong) relax during sleep. The complications associated with sleep apnea are, high blood pressure, which raises risk of
stroke and heart failure. Normal sleep is impossible, and you may experience sever daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and irritability.

To diagnose sleep apnea there is often an overnight monitoring of sleep done, which often includes a test called polysomnography. You are hooked up to equipment that monitors heart, lung, and brain activity, breathing patterns, arm and leg movements, and blood oxygen
levels.

The treatment for sleep apnea include a therapy called continuous positive airway pressure (cpap). This is a device that forces air into the nasal passages and keeps the airway from collapsing, This may be required for life. Dental devices designed to bring the jaw forward to
open the throat can sometimes relieve mild obstructive sleep apnea.

In some cases surgery may be recommended. Surgery may range from procedures designed to open the nose, enlarge the back of the throat, or create direct access to the lungs via a tube placed in the wind pipe.( tracheotomy)