Obstructive sleep apnea has also been linked to attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, irritability and behavioral problems. Sleep apnea is generally caused by a crowded upper airway, muscle weakness around the throat, or weight gain that adds fat around the airway, leading to collapse during sleep. The condition limits the amount of restorative sleep for sufferers and is significantly more likely in the obese, who have a BMI of 40 or greater.
Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that causes frequent pauses in breathing during sleep and is often accompanied by snoring . Two and a half years ago, Mills went through a process at the Torr Sleep Center where technicians attached monitoring devices all over his body. Children with the condition are more likely to have learning problems and poor academic performance, according to a recent study in the journal Sleep. Waking up activates the body's fight-or-flight response, causing heart rate, blood pressure and hormone secretions to climb, says Lawrence Epstein, a sleep medicine expert at Harvard Medical School and Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The FAA will require any pilots above that BMI benchmark to undergo a full evaluation with a sleep specialist to determine their risk of sleep apnea. The wires are hooked up to a machine and, while he slept, technicians monitored his breathing and sleeping patterns. And children with severe sleep apnea may even have high blood pressure and heart conditions. Until very recently, the only treatments with any real track record were throat surgery and a sleep machine with a face mask that many compared to Darth Vader's. In the study, researchers followed more than 1,500 adults for 18 years who had been screened for sleep apnea at the start of the study. The results showed that about 19% of those with severe sleep apnea died during the follow-up period compared with only 4% of those without sleep apnea.
He says patients with sleep apnea will stop breathing anywhere from 10 seconds to several minutes at a time.

Surgery is usually the best option for children with enlarged tonsils and adenoids, yet studies show that sleep apnea cant be diagnosed with a physical exam, so an overnight sleep study in a pediatric sleep laboratory is recommended.
Researchers found the risk of premature death increased as the severity of sleep apnea increased, but findings suggested protection from risk of death with proper treatment of sleep apnea, such as the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to keep airways open during sleep and prevent pauses in breathing.
When those who used CPAP regularly to treat their sleep apnea were excluded from the analysis, the risk of death was 3.8 times greater for those with for untreated sleep apnea. The standard treatment for sleep apnea is sleeping with a face mask on a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine.

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