Did you know that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is just one type of sleep apnea? There are actually 3 types of the sleeping disorder. Each of which have distinctive characteristics that set each type apart.

Knowing the difference is vital in getting the appropriate method of treatment. Not all methods of treatment are effective in treating these 3 types of sleep apnea. This is why identifying what you have is essential.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea By Definition

OSA is characterized by the obstruction of the airway by soft tissue or other physical features. Underdeveloped muscles in the airway are the common culprits. These muscles tend to over relax during sleep, which is the cause of obstruction. This results in pauses in breathing.

In some cases, physical deformities are also one of the reasons behind the obstruction of the airway. These deformities can be corrected by corrective surgery.

In most cases, obesity, smoking, and substance abuse are the most common factors behind OSA. Due to this, this type of sleep apnea is the most common. It constitutes 84% of cases, and affects an estimated 18 million people in the US alone.

The OSA Symptom

There is one symptom that sets OSA apart from other types of sleep apnea. This symptom is snoring.

Snoring is causes by the vibration of different tissues and structures along the airway. When these structures are too close to each other, the passing of air is constricted causing the vibration. Hence, the result is the sound of snoring.

Not only is snoring an indicator of OSA, it is also the cause of sleep deprivation towards the individual’s sleeping companions. In a lot of cases, it is the cause of distress among couples.

OSA vs. Central Sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea (Cheyne-Stroke Respiration) is the brain’s inability to control the normal rhythm of breathing while sleeping. The brain’s inability to regulate respiration is the cause of breathing pauses or apneas. It constitutes 15% of cases.

The difference between the two is that Cheyne-Stroke respiration is a neurological dysfunction. OSA is causes by physical obstructions in the airway.

OSA And Complex Sleep Apnea

Complex sleep apnea (CompSA) is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. It constitutes 0.4% of cases.

If OSA is left unchecked, various complications may develop. These complications can cause neurological dysfunctions, which can develop to CompSA. In other words, a person suffering from this form of sleeping disorder is at more risk.

Knowledge of the type of sleep apnea you may have will be important for the appropriate course of action. You do not want to be in a situation where in time and effort will be at a waste.

To receive a FREE e-course on 7 proven sleep apnea treatments (that don’t use CPAP), please click here.


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