What Causes Sleep Apnea?
The two main types of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea, commonly known as OSA, occurs when the muscles relax and causes the tonsils, soft palate, tongue or other soft tissues to collapse and obstruct breathing. Central sleep apnea, or CSA, occurs when the brain fails to signal your breathing muscles at certain points during sleeping. Symptoms of both types of sleep apnea can be similar and may include daytime drowsiness, waking abruptly with a choke or gasp, and snoring. A sleep apnea test will be needed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the problem.
Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea include excess weight, narrow neck or airway, age, family history, alcohol use, sedative use and smoking. Men and those who are of African American ethnicity are more commonly at a higher risk. The risk factors for central sleep apnea include age, and if they have a history of stroke, brain tumor or heart disorder. Men are also more likely to suffer from central sleep apnea, as well as OSA.
Treatment can vary based on the type of sleep apnea you have and the severity of your symptoms. In most cases, CPAP therapy is recommended, as it uses positive air pressure to keep the throat open. Those with central sleep apnea will also need to address the underlying cause of their condition. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our Pasadena sleep apnea dentist.
Back to Blog