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Types & Definitions

Sleep Apnea (AP-ne-ah) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.

 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a very serious medical disorder caused by repeated blockage of the airway, leading to disruptive sleep and substantial negative fluctuations in blood oxygen levels.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea include:

  •  loud snoring
  •  waking up gasping for breath
  •  excessive daytime sleepiness.

Treatment options include:

  •  Positive Airway Pressure therapy
  •  weight loss
  •  sleeping position therapy
  •  oral appliances
  •  palate surgery
  •  pillar implants.

Consequences of untreated sleep apnea include death, hypertension, stroke, and heart disease. There is also a link to increased risk of industrial and auto accidents primarily due to excessive sleepiness.

  

 [Graphic courtesy of the American Sleep Apnea Association]

Central Sleep Apnea is a less common type of sleep apnea. This disorder happens if the area of your brain that controls your breathing doesn't send the correct signals to your breathing muscles. As a result, you'll make no effort to breathe for brief periods.

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