Those who suffer from sleep apnea experience frequent pauses in their breathing during sleep. Here, our Surrey dentists explain a little more about this relatively common condition, including a few of the reasons people experience sleep apnea.
OSA - Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The most common variety of sleep apnea is OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. OSA makes it difficult to get air into the lungs due to a collapse of the upper airway. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in men than in women, it is also more common in those who sleep on their backs and are overweight.
Generally there is some kind of abnormality in the lower face, (such as an unusually small chin, an overbite, or a large tongue), in people of normal weight who have obstructive sleep apnea.
CSA - Central Sleep Apnea
Much more rare than OSA is Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). This form of sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not send normal signals to the chest to breathe properly while the sufferer is asleep. Typically, neurologic disease (that is, a disease of the brain) or severe heart disease are the causes of central sleep apnea. Other causes include taking certain medications. Particularly strong pain medications like morphine and other narcotics, are known to cause CSA in some people.
MSA - Mixed Sleep Apnea
Mixed sleep apnea (MSA) is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. MSA begins as central sleep apnea, and then develop into OSA over time.