“a” + “pnea” = apnea
Means no breath
“hypo” + “pnea” = hypopnea
Means little breath
In Latin, “pnea” means breath. Translated, “a” is no and “hypo” means little. Put that all together and you have apnea (no breath) and hypopnea (little breath).
While it makes a lot of sense that apneas are more critical and can result in bigger negative changes to the body and general health, hypopneas also result in changes. this means that both are important to understand, measure and track for your therapy
So, we know that apneic events mean there is no breath that occurs for at least 10 seconds.
Hypopneic events are counted as a reduction in airflow by ≥30%, and the drop in the airflow lasts greater than 10 seconds. There is a ≥3% oxygen desaturation or the event is associated with an arousal. An arousal from sleep means a brief awakening. People may or may not be aware of the arousals and simply drift back into sleep—until the next event occurs!
Think about this happening HUNDREDS of times a night! It would make anyone have excessive daytime sleepiness the following day! Not to mention organs being oxygen deprived from breathing events!
Alarming thoughts, don’t you agree?