Sleep Apnea is when an individual thinks that they are resting but in actuality there is a complication that is interrupting their sleep on a continuous basis throughout their bedtime hours. This in returns leaves them waking feeling really unrested and as if they need to go right back to sleep.

There are 3 different types of sleep apnea that an individual can suffer from. Those include obstructive, central and complex. Each of these types of sleep apnea varies in degree of severity and the symptoms that are felt. Most important though is what causes these types of sleep apnea and how can they be prevented.

Three Types of Sleep Apnea and Their Causes

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common. This type of sleep apnea occurs when the tissue towards the back of your throat relaxes during your sleep. This in return blocks the airways and causes you to loudly snore. This set of events is an obstructive sleep apnea episode.

Central Sleep Apnea is much less common than obstructive and it involves the central nervous system. When your brain fails to signal the muscles that control your breathing during sleep, central sleep apnea occurs. It is common that people who suffer from Central sleep apnea do not snore like those that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Complex Sleep apnea is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apneas. Individuals who experience complex sleep apnea are at much higher risk of complications than those who experience just obstructive or just central sleep apnea.

Symptoms and Complications

When sleep apnea occurs your body will arouse itself to wake and reinforce oxygen through your airways. It is likely you will only feel a brief shortness of breath in which you would be able to recuperate from within a matter of 1-2 breathes later if you are even awoken from the experience.  These slight disruptions can occur from just a few times a night to a few thousands of times a night. In these situations the phases of sleep that are needed to actually provide your body with rest and relaxation is not obtained.

Treatments and Prevention

There are some common factors that have been associated with sleep apnea, when addressed they are proven to reduce the risk of sleep apnea in the individuals. Those factors include:

  • Weight Loss
  • Avoiding the use of sleeping pills or alcohol
  • Changing your sleeping position periodically to improve breathing
  • Stop smoking. When you smoke it causes swelling naturally in the airways increasing the chances and severity of sleep apnea.

In most cases of diagnoses of sleep apnea, the patient is prescribed a CPAP treatment. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure treatments allows the patient to wear a mask while sleeping over the nose and mouth that in returns delivers continuous pressure through the airways thus preventing the sleep apnea disturbances from occurring.

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