Sleep and Health

What is the Sleep Apnea? 2 Types of Sleep Apnea

Last updated on October 20th, 2022 at 07:56 am

If you snore loudly and feel tired during the day, you may have sleep apnea. This common disorder causes your breathing to stop or get very shallow while you sleep. There are 2 types of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is an abnormal sleep disorder where breathing pauses or periods of shallow breathing during sleeping occurs frequently. Each pause is usually between a minute and ten seconds; these events occur often at nights. This occurs largely through loud coughing or loud cough. Breathing stops when breathing begins to stop. Affected persons may have difficulty getting up during sleep because they are affected and feel fatigued during their workdays.

2 Types of Sleep Apnea

There are 2 types of sleep apnea:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep.
  2. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing.

Sleep Apnea Causes

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which your breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The main symptom of OSA is loud snoring. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much and block your airway. This blockage limits or stops the flow of oxygen into your lungs. Each time this happens, your brain momentarily arousal to reopen your airway. This can happen many times throughout the night and often results in poor sleep quality.

There are several possible explanations for why the muscles in the back of your throat may relax excessively and cause OSA, but the exact cause is not known. Some factors that may contribute to OSA include:

  • being overweight or obese
  • having a family history of sleep apnea
  • having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jawbone
  • smoking
  • drinking alcohol

What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?

There are several warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, which include:

  1. Waking up gasping or feeling like you’re choking
  2. Loud snoring
  3. Pauses in breathing (apneas) during sleep, sometimes accompanied by snorting or grunting
  4. Restless sleep
  5. Daytime drowsiness or fatigue
  6. Morning headaches
  7. Irritability or moodiness
  8. Trouble concentrating or focusing during the day.
Can sleep apnea be cured?

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is the most common and effective treatment for sleep apnea. A CPAP machine uses a mask that covers your mouth and nose, or just your nose. The mask is hooked up to a small machine that provides a steady and continuous flow of air to your lungs. The air pressure is set at a level that prevents your airway from collapsing while you sleep.

Can sleep apnea kill you?

Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious or even deadly consequences. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation estimates that sleep apnea may be responsible for as many as 38,000 deaths each year in the United States.

Sleep Apnea Test

If you think you might have sleep apnea, you need to see a doctor who can give you a sleep apnea test. A sleep apnea test is the only way to know for sure if you have sleep apnea.

There are two types of sleep apnea tests:

  1. A home sleep apnea test (HSAT) is a device that you use at home to measure your breathing while you sleep. An HSAT is usually done if your doctor thinks you might have mild sleep apnea.
  2. A polysomnography (PSG) is a test that is done in a sleep lab. You will spend the night in the sleep lab, and sensors will be attached to your body to measure your breathing, heart rate, and brain waves while you sleep. A PSG is usually done if your doctor thinks you might have moderate to severe sleep apnea.

If you have sleep apnea, treatment can help. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, CPAP machines, and surgery.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder in which a person experiences pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping. These breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur dozens of times per night, preventing the person from getting deep, restful sleep.

There are 2 types of sleep apnea:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep.
  2. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing.

Treatment for sleep apnea depends on the severity of the condition and may include lifestyle changes, mouthpieces or mouth guards, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, or surgery. Learn the 26 tips to improve your sleeping habits.

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