Sleep Apnea is a serious medical condition in which breathing repeatedly stops or is limited during sleep. Sleep Apnea can lead to numerous health problems including: Heart Disease, Stroke, High Blood Pressure, Atrial Fibrillation, Type II Diabetes, Depression, Anxiety and Excessive Daytime Sleepiness.
The main types of Sleep Apnea are:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the most common form of Sleep Apnea, occurs when your tongue and the soft tissues in the back of your throat block your airway during sleep (as seen in the image to the left). This blockage of your airway results in periods of suffocation which can severely disrupt normal sleep patterns causing you to wake up tired and feel sleepy throughout the day. Symptoms of Sleep Apnea include: snoring, gasping for air during sleep, morning headaches, excessive daytime sleepiness, need to urinate multiple times during the night, memory loss, awakening with a dry mouth, difficulty paying attention, and irritability. Mild and moderate forms of OSA can be treated with either CPAP therapy or with Oral Appliance Therapy.
Central Sleep Apnea is less common than OSA and is caused when the respiratory control center in your brain doesn't send the proper signals to your lungs to breathe while sleeping. Central Sleep Apnea is most commonly treated with CPAP therapy.
Complex Sleep Apnea occurs when someone has both Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea.