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People who have sleep apnea stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds at a time while they are sleeping. These stops can happen up to 400 times every night. This can be serious and life threatening. There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive.
-Central sleep apnea, which is less common, occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to initiate respirations.
-Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common and occurs when air cannot flow into or out of the person's nose or mouth, though efforts to breathe continue.
Studies have found that sleep apnea is associated with increased blood pressure, a risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. If any of these symptoms appear, it is important to address them with your doctor. A number of effective treatment approaches are available.