What Are the Different Types of Sleep Apnea and How Can They Affect Your Health?

Snoring and sleep apnea often go hand in hand, and the louder the snoring, the higher the chances of having

sleep apnea

. This common disorder causes your airway to collapse or block while you sleep, leading to a lack of restful sleep and severe daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and irritability. There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. Each type has its own characteristics and causes, and ignoring this disorder can increase your risk of many other health problems.Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a mechanical problem that blocks the airway.

Men, people who are overweight, endocrine disorders, neuromuscular conditions, heart or kidney failure, genetic syndromes, premature births, and people over 40 are more likely to suffer from this type of apnea. It is treated with a device to keep the airway open, such as a machine that drives air pressure to the lungs through a mask that is placed over your nose and mouth while you sleep (CPAP).Central sleep apnea occurs because the brain doesn't send the right messages to the muscles that control breathing. This type of apnea can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some headache syndromes.Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea. If you have this type of apnea, the muscles you use to breathe don't get the brain's “OK” signal.If you have any of these types of sleep apnea, it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Ignoring this disorder can put you at risk for many other health problems. Dr. Robson Capasso, chief of sleep surgery and associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine in California says that if you ignore this common sleep disorder, you increase your risk of having many other health problems.

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