What Causes Sleep Apnea?

The cause of sleep apnea depends on which type you have. There are three types of sleep apnea. The most prominent is obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Central sleep apnea is less common and mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both OSA and central sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea is something that happens as a result of the brain failing to properly send signals to the muscles involved with breathing. For short spurts of time you go without breathing while sleeping. Often when you wake up you will have shortness of breath. You may also have a difficult time with insomnia.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the air way being obstructed by relaxed muscles. The back of the tongue and the muscles in the upper air way will collapse cutting off the air partially or completely for a matter of seconds. When you stop breathing or are not getting enough air, the oxygen level in the blood goes down signaling the brain to wake you up. You wake momentarily, the airway reopens and the cycle begins again. Choking or gasping is not uncommon. The disruptions can continue throughout the time you are sleeping from five to over 30 times in an hour. This makes it unlikely for you to reach the necessary sleep phase for your body to get the rest it needs and make repairs that can happen only during sleep.

Importance of Treatment

Sleep apnea can be debilitating for the person who has it and for the bed partner. Loud snoring keeps others awake and the constant waking mean you are not getting the restful sleep you need to maintain a healthy body. The risks incurred with untreated sleep apnea are not worth it. Cardiovascular disease can be caused by OSA. It put you at risk for high blood pressure and memory problems. People with OSA gain weight and suffer from headaches. It can also impair your love live with impotence.

There are several ways to treat sleep apnea. Contact us today to find out more about OSA and how you can start treatment.

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