What is Sleep Apnea?

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a disorder of breathing during sleep.  People with sleep apnea do not get enough oxygen during sleep.

There are 2 major types; Obstructive and Central.  With both types you must wake up briefly to breathe, sometimes hundreds of times during the night. Usually there is no memory of these brief awakenings.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common type and is due to an obstruction (collapse) of the airway during sleep. During an obstructive apnea the effort to breathe is present, but no air movement occurs. Bed partners notice pauses approx.10 to 60 seconds between loud snores. The narrowing of the upper airway can be a result of several factors including inherent physical characteristics, excess weight, and alcohol consumption before sleep.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central Sleep Apnea is quite uncommon and is a result of a signal failure between your brain and the respiratory system. The effort to breathe just stops. As with obstructive sleep apnea the oxygen level drops significantly.