The Differences Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea And Central Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects many people.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is a similar disease but with different causes. Cases of central sleep apnea are rare, occurring much less often than diagnoses of obstructive sleep apnea. In central sleep apnea, the afflicted person has a problem with their brain’s timing.
The brain subconsciously tells the body when it should perform its regular functions, and sometimes the timing can be off when it comes to telling the body when to breathe. So, like obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea sufferers do not get enough oxygen while they sleep.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when there is some sort of blockage in a person’s airway, causing them to be unable to get the air that they need while they are asleep. This can be due to many reasons, with obesity being a common cause.
Overweight people have deposits of fatty tissue in the neck area, which can weigh on the esophagus and cause a lack of sufficient room for air to get through. Other causes of obstructive sleep apnea include allergies, nasal deformation, large adenoids, large tonsils, and sleeping in an awkward position.
Snoring is often present in those who have obstructive sleep apnea, since the sound of snoring represents your body trying as hard as it can to get the oxygen that it needs.
Both disorders cause the sufferer to wake up numerous times throughout the night, gasping for air and even choking. The afflicted often wake with headaches and sore throats due to the lack of oxygen and their body’s struggles with trying to get some.
This lack of sleep can lead to several other problems, both physical and mental. Since sleep apnea causes the sufferer to wake up so much throughout the night, the person hardly ever gets enough REM sleep to fully refresh their body.
This can leave them in a permanent state of fatigue, leading to a lack of attention, increased irritability, and a much higher risk of being involved in an automobile accident. These problems with alertness can cause an apnea patient to lose productivity in the workplace and in the home, causing a host of problems in the sufferer’s life.
Also, the lack of adequate oxygen taken in by apnea sufferers while they sleep can lead to some very serious physical problems.
Higher blood pressure is often present in those with both types of sleep apnea, and those who have an untreated case of sleep apnea have a significantly higher risk of suffering from a stroke or heart disease than those who have their condition treated.
For that reason, if you or someone you love has any of the symptoms described above, it’s important to consult a health care professional to ensure that sleep apnea is not present.
The test for apnea is painless, and involves an overnight sleep study. The test is also generally covered by insurance, so there is no need to worry about costs assuming you have an insurance provider.