Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is one of the most undiagnosed health conditions, affecting more than 18 million Americans (6.2% of total population). The difficulty in diagnosing sleep apnea is that it occurs during sleep, making the person unaware that the condition exists. Often, it is their bed partner who notices the symptoms and encourages the person seek medical advise.

There are three major types of Sleep Apnea: obstructive, central and mixed.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is most common types affecting nearly 70% of all patients diagnosed with this condition. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs because the breathing muscles are able to receive the brain signals but are unable to function because of a blockage or collapse in the upper airway tract.

Signs of obstructive sleep apnea that you might notice during the day include:

  • Excessive sleepiness during the day. This symptom will help you to determine if you simply have a snoring problem, or if you have sleep apnea. Snoring will not cause you to be excessively tired during the day, because it does not interfere with the quality of your sleep. Sleep apnea does worsen the quality of your sleep because oxygen is prevented from entering your body while asleep resulting in sleepiness during the day.
  • Rapid and irrational weight gain.
  • Sore throat and dry mouth on waking.
  • Headaches in the morning.
  • Drowsiness, irritability, and mood disorders including depression.
  • Problems with concentration.
  • Tendency to take short and frequent daytime naps.
  • Poor memory.

Obstructive sleep apnea symptoms that might be noticed by your bed partner at night include:

  • Loud and persistent snoring that does not respond to any usual snoring remedy.
  • Restlessness during sleep; frequent tossing and turning in bed
  • Intermittent periods of silence between snoring. During such periods of silence, it appears that you have stopped breathing.
  • Periodic choking and gasps for air during sleep.
Central Sleep Apnea is usually the result of a pre-existing health disorders, and happens when the brain is incapable of sending out any signal. Without the brain signal there is no breathing effort by the muscles.

Many of the signs of this type of sleep disorder are linked to the current health condition of an individual. Illnesses that may lead to this kind of apnea include:

  • Bulbar poliomyelitis
  • Complications arising from cervical spine surgery
  • Encephalitis involving the brainstem
  • Neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease
  • Radiation of the cervical spine

The symptoms of central sleep apnea are similar to obstructive apnea: excessive tiredness and fatigue during the day; headaches; and restlessness during sleep.

Mixed Sleep Apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central types of apnea and is very rare.

 

Now I have so much energy!

“Dr. Angela discovered that I had sleep issues and referred me for a sleep study. Lunn Dentistry made me a sleep appliance and I now have so much energy! I am so grateful.” — Patsy

Statistics suggest that sleep apnea symptoms in men tend to appear in 70% of those who are obese, over 50 years of age, and who are loud and persistent snorers.

Here are some other statistics on the typical sufferer of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA):

  • High Blood Pressure
  • 50% have heart disease.
  • Close to 60% end up having strokes.
  • Increased risk of congestive heart failure (2.3 times more than a healthy person).
  • 50% are obese.
  • Adults who have smaller and narrower airways of the nose, throat and mouth run a greater risk of contracting this disorder.
  • Certain lifestyle factors (such as smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol) also contribute to the onset.
  • Diabetes.
  • Chronic acid reflux.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Allergic reaction to certain medications could also trigger Obstructive Sleep Apnea symptoms.
Sleep apnea symptoms in women are less common in comparison to men. While many of the symptoms for men are typical for women as well, women can develop symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea during pregnancy and/or after menopause.
Here are some other statistics on the typical sufferer of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA):

  • High Blood Pressure
  • 50% have heart disease.
  • Close to 60% end up having strokes.
  • Increased risk of congestive heart failure (2.3 times more than a healthy person).
  • 50% are obese.
  • Adults who have smaller and narrower airways of the nose, throat and mouth run a greater risk of contracting this disorder.
  • Certain lifestyle factors (such as smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol) also contribute to the onset.
  • Diabetes.
  • Chronic acid reflux.
  • Allergic reaction to certain medications could also trigger Obstructive Sleep Apnea symptoms.

 

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