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Definition of Hypopnea

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Updated February 18, 2014

Definition:

Hypopnea refers to a transient reduction of airflow (often while asleep) that lasts for at least 10 seconds, shallow breathing, or an abnormally low respiratory rate.

Hypopnea is less severe than apnea (which is a more complete loss of airflow). It may likewise result in a decreased amount of air movement into the lungs and can cause oxygen levels in the blood to drop. It more commonly is due to partial obstruction of the upper airway.

Pronunciation: Hi-pop-nee-uh
Alternate Spellings: Hypopnoea
Examples:
Though she does not stop breathing completely, she has hypopnea where her breathing is quite shallow.
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