Sleep Apnea (Obstructive and Central) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Sleep Apnea (Obstructive and Central) article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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Airway obstruction: Partial or complete blockage of the breathing passages to the lungs. C...

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Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Apnea: The absence of breathing (respiration).

Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Carbon dioxide: A gas which is the byproduct of cellular metabolism and which collects in ...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Co-morbid: Pertaining to two or more disorders simultaneously.

Congenital: A condition that is present at birth, whether or not it is inherited.

Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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Congestive heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it, with f...

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Continuous positive airway pressure: See: CPAP.

CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP is an effective treatment for moderate to ...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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ECG: Electrocardiogram.

EEG: Electroencephalogram.

Electrocardiogram: A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. Abbreviated ECG an...

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Electroencephalogram: A technique for studying the electrical currents within the brain. E...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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High altitude: Altitude sickness occurs at high altitude. So what is high altitude?

High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hygiene: The science of preventive medicine and the preservation of health. Also commonly ...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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Hypopnea: Literally, underbreathing. Breathing that is shallower or slower than normal. Hy...

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Hypoventilation: The state in which a reduced amount of air enters the alveoli in the lung...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number ...

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Jaw: The movable junction of the bones below the mouth (the mandible) and the bone just ab...

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Limb: An arm or a leg.

Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Memory: 1. The ability to recover information about past events or knowledge. ...

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Modafinil: An oral drug first approved by the FDA in 1998 for the treatment of narcolepsy,...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Nasal septum: The dividing wall that runs down the middle of the nose, separating the two ...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Neurologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of th...

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Neuromuscular: Pertaining to both nerves and muscles, as in neuromuscular blockade by an a...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Objective: In a microscope, the objective (also called the objective lens) is the lens nea...

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Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): See sleep apnea, obstructive.

Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Oxygenation: The addition of oxygen to any system, including the human body. Oxygenation m...

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Palate: The roof of the mouth. The front portion is bony (hard palate), and the back porti...

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Pharyngeal: Having to do with the pharynx (throat).

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Pharynx: The hollow tube that is about 5 inches long and starts behind the nose and ends a...

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Polysomnography: Continuous recording of specific physiologic variables during sleep. Poly...

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Positive pressure ventilation: The provision of air under pressure by a mechanical respira...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary hypertension: High blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. This elevated blood...

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Referral: The recommendation of a medical or paramedical professional. If you get a refer...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Respiratory rate: The number of breaths per minute or, more formally, the number of moveme...

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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Sedative: A drug that calms a patient, easing agitation and permitting sleep. Sedatives ge...

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Septum: A dividing wall or enclosure. For example, the septum of the nose is the thin cart...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Sleep apnea: The temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep, often resulting in daytime ...

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Sleep hygiene: A series of practices and non-medical treatments for insomnia. Sleep hygien...

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Snoring: A rough rattling noise made on inspiration during sleep by vibration of the soft ...

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Soft palate: The muscular part of the roof of the mouth. The soft palate is directly behin...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Tonsils: Small masses of lymphoid tissue at the back and on both sides of the throat.

Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Uvula: The anatomic structure that dangles downward at the back of the mouth and is attach...

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Ventilation: The exchange of air between the lungs and the atmosphere so that oxygen can b...

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Vocal cord: One of two small bands of muscle within the larynx. These muscles vibrate to ...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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Medical Dictionary