When it comes to Sleep Apnea Causes, there are three types of sleep apnea – obstructive, central and mixed. Here are the types of sleep apnea classified here according to their causes…
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
As its name implies, obstructive sleep apnea is caused by an obstructed upper airway, and it is the most common type as well as the most serious. Soft tissue in the palate, throat, or tongue may block the flow of air as a person struggles to breathe.
Nasal congestion from allergies or deviated septum
Overweight people may have fatty deposits in their throat tissue or excess weight in the chest and abdomen that alters breathing.
Muscle Tone in the upper airways deteriorates with age.
Obstructive apnea is more common in men than women.
The airway becomes obstructed during sleep, blocking air flow and resulting in an emergency arousal that causes the person to gasp for air.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is a rare form that is caused by a problem in the central nervous system. The respiratory center in the brain that is responsible for breathing fails.
Characteristics of Central Sleep Apnea
Usually not a symptom
No anatomical abnormality
Obstructive apnea in obese individuals can lead to central apnea.
Central apnea may be related to a neurological problem in older adults. Examples include multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Equally as common in men and women.
Breathing stops during sleep when the breathing center in the brain stops working, resulting in an emergency arousal that cause the person to gasp.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
As the name suggests, mixed sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central apnea. Many researchers feel most sleep apnea is a mixed form. The reason for this is because a person with obstructive sleep apnea often has a tendency to breathe rapidly when recovering from an obstructive apnea event, thereby lowering the carbon dioxide level in the blood, which can trigger a central apneic event.
Read more about sleep apnea symptoms and serious side effects, and the methods used to diagnose the problem, and the types of treatment currently available.