Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that thousands of Americans suffer from. While sleep apnea can take several different forms, all involve the interruption of breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times every night. The three main forms of sleep apnea are: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. It occurs when a person’s throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep. Snoring is a common sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Other symptoms include:
- Morning headache
- Difficulty concentrating
- High blood pressure
- Decreased libido
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea, a less common form of sleep apnea than obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when the brain doesn’t send the proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. Some common signs and symptoms include:
- Abrupt awakenings during the night
- Shortness of breath relieved by sitting upright
- Chest pain during the night
- Mood changes
Complex Sleep Apnea
Complex sleep apnea, also known as mixed sleep apnea, is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Complex sleep apnea often develops as a result of using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) as a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It shares many of the same symptoms as both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Dr. Avi Weisfogel is an expert in treating sleep apnea and the founder of Dental Sleep MBA.