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The specialist: As the director of the Sleep Surgery Center at Mount Sinai, Dr.Fred Lin is an otolaryngologist who specializes in treating patients surgically for sleep apnea.The time when the airway collapses causing an interim of suffocation is called an apneic episode, if the obstruction is complete, or hyponeic episode, if it is nearly complete.“Patients can experience from five to over a hundred episodes an hour, which is extremely detrimental to your health,” says Lin.The only way to diagnose sleep apnea is to have a sleep study.For years, this had to be done in a clinic, but now more people are being screened at home.

Who’s at risk: It’s only over the past few years that the public has become more aware of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that affects more than 20 million Americans.

It is usually caused by something obstructing, or blocking, the upper airway. OSA is a common, serious condition that can make kids miss out on healthy, restful sleep.

If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to learning, behavior, growth, and heart problems.

In obstructive sleep apnea, these muscles can relax too much and collapse the airway, making it hard to breathe.

This is especially true if someone has enlarged tonsils or adenoids (germ-fighting tissues at the back of the nasal cavity), which can block the airway during sleep.

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