Types of Sleep Apnea

Typesofsleep apnea


Three different types ofsleep apnea exist.They are: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA),central sleep apnea andmixed sleep apnea.While all three ofthese differin their causes and


possible treatment,they do share one common trait.Apart ofthe respiratory systemnarrows which limitsthe quantityofoxygena person takes into their lungs.


Because ofthe lowered blood oxygen levels, the brain is triggered tosay “breathe again”.You then ‘gasp’whichsets inmotionthe breathingprocessuntil the next cessation




The mostuniversal type ofsleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea.This happens when your upper airway is blocked during sleep.The blockage happens when the softtissue in the


back of the throat collapses andcloses during sleep. Relaxed throat muscles, a narrow airway,a

large tongue or extra fattytissue in the throat can also block the airway.This blockage leads to shallow breathing or breathing pauses.







Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)predominantly affectsmen between the ages of30 and 50 and takes place when the air passage becomes obstructed; preventing breathing,


until low levels of oxygen in the blood causes a person torespond by waking and taking adeep,snortingbreath.


Central apnea and mixed apnea fall into two additional categories ofsleep apnea, however, they are considered less common.


Central sleep apnea is caused in an area ofyour brain which controls your breathing – not sending the correct signals toyour breathing muscles.Those sufferingfrom central sleep

apnea go through a cycle involving rapid breathing, then the slowing ofbreathing followed by complete lack ofbreathing. Each cycle can last anywhere from 30 seconds to2 minutes.


Asthe name suggests, mixed apnea is a combination ofthe other two apneas (obstructive and central). Some people experience long periods ofobstructive sleep apnea interspersed

with short episodes ofcentral sleep apnea.This is called mixed sleep apnea.