Differentiating the Three Types of Sleep Apnea

A person with sleep apnea is not aware of his or her condition unless another individual would tell that person. You can take a series of test to identify whether you really have this condition. However, if you have a present medical condition like obesity, no doubt you are at risk to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea leads to sleep deprivation, poor energy, tiredness and heightens your potential to have chronic illnesses like hypertension, cardiovascular disorders, and stroke. Moreover, it can also affect the sleeping patterns of your partner, making it twice harder for both of you to deal with the situation. Loud snoring and choking sounds are the result of sleep apnea. This sleeping disorder is characterized by narrowing of the airways, causing you to have difficulty in breathing. As the airways collapse, the breathing muscles create vibrations and produce loud noises or snores.


There are three types of sleep apnea. Each condition has varying cause and symptoms. Hence, to give more understanding on their differences, here is a summary detailing each type of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apneais experienced by individuals with small air passageways and enlarged tonsils which obstruct the air to pass through and go inside the body. In addition, as the oxygen level inside the body drops, the organs cope up by sending brain signals to breathe which results in disruption of sleep. That is why you gasp for air when you suddenly wake up from sleep. Therefore, if you have narrow airways or a thicker tongue and palate it is possible that you have OSA. Furthermore, obesity, allergies and family history of sleep apnea are other components of OSA. They are among the reasons why OSA is a more common type of sleep apnea compared with the other two sleeping disorders indicated below.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) happens if the muscles around your neck, throat and other muscles responsible for breathing are incapable of performing their functions because of failure to receive brain signals to breathe. People who are suffering from cardiovascular disorders are more prone to CSA. CSA is quite dangerous since your body does not react fast to the lack of breathing. Hence, a person with CSA stops or pause in breathing for a certain period without creating so much indication of poor breathing such as struggling or any type of movements. Once an episode of no breathing stops, the body compensates oxygen loss by breathing faster which is called hyperpnea. CSA can trigger seizures, epilepsy, heart failure and respiratory acidosis. If untreated, CSA may lead to death.

Complex Sleep Apnea

Some individuals suffer from complex sleep apnea. By its name alone, this sleeping disorder is a combination of OSA and CSA. This disorder requires immediate medical attention for it can be detrimental to the health and safety of the person with such condition. Usually, complex sleep apnea is treated with CPAP. Treat sleep apnea today. Do not let it rob your health and life. Check out sites like Stop Snoring Resources to find best snoring aids online.