Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder characterized by shallow or interrupted breathing during sleep. These pauses can last from seconds to minutes and can occur multiple times during the night — sometimes as often as 30 times an hour. Normal breathing often starts up again with a loud snort or choking sound. This interruption moves a patient from deep to light sleep. Sleep apnea testing can determine not only whether you have this condition, but also which type you have and how best to treat it.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms Include:
- Excessive Fatigue
- Dry Mouth & Throat
- Mood Swings
- Inability to Focus
- Poor Memory
- Weight Gain
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive and Central. Although the symptoms of each condition are similar, the causes and treatments differ.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea can develop as the muscles of the throat, the tongue or other soft tissues relax and block airways during the night. The force of the air trying to get through causes exceptionally loud snoring. This is what most people refer to as sleep apnea, and can often be effectively treated by our team. Of the two kinds of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea is the more common condition.
Central Sleep Apnea occurs when signals from the brain fail to reach the muscles responsible for maintaining your nighttime breathing. This condition is less common and requires advanced treatment from specialists and neurologists. This condition is often tied to other medical conditions or medicines, although it may occur in conjunction with obstructive sleep apnea. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is not associated with loud snoring.
It is vital that you undergo accurate testing to determine the form of sleep apnea that you may be suffering from. Inaccurate diagnoses can lead to improper treatment and an increase in your symptoms. Central sleep apnea is far more complex than obstructive sleep apnea, and requires the attention of a specialist.