What are the Different Types of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common disorder that can interfere with the quality of your sleep as well as your health.
In this blog, the board-certified ear, nose, and throat doctors at eos sleep diagnostics explain the different types of this disorder.
What is sleep apnea?
This serious sleep disorder causes repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last for a few seconds or even minutes at a time and can occur hundreds of times a night. They interfere with your sleep cycle, moving you from a deep sleep into a lighter sleep repeatedly during the night.
Many people who have this condition aren’t aware of it because it happens while you’re asleep.
What are its symptoms?
This sleep disorder can cause a variety of symptoms that affect your waking hours and can even increase your chances of developing several serious, chronic health conditions.
The following are some common symptoms:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, even after spending enough hours in bed
- Waking up with a choking or gasping sound
- Waking up with a sore or dry throat
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Decreased interest in sex
It can also increase your risk of developing chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes.
What are the different types of sleep apnea?
There are three types:
- Obstructive (OSA) – This is the most common type and is characterized by a blocked or collapsed airway during sleep. It usually occurs when soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses and closes during sleep. As a result, when you try to breathe, air that gets past the blockage can cause snoring, and you’ll also experience pauses in breathing as well as shallow breathing.
- Central: If you have this type of apnea, your airway isn’t blocked, so you may not snore. Instead, your brain fails to signal your muscles to breathe, which causes pauses in breathing.
- Mixed: This is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
It may be suspected if you have some of the symptoms that are commonly associated with this disorder. However, it can be confirmed only by conducting a sleep study.
This non-invasive test measures exactly what happens to your body as you sleep, recording data about your breathing, heart rate, movements, brain waves, and the oxygen level in your blood. It will enable your doctor to either confirm or rule out the presence of a sleep disorder and recommend treatment based on the test’s results.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, make an appointment today with eos sleep diagnostics. We’re experienced in diagnosing and effectively treating all types of this disorder and can help improve the quality of your sleep and overall health.