"Apnea" comes from the Greek word meaning "want of breath;" Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing while you sleep. It's is clinically defined as any cessation of breath lasting 10 or more seconds.
The three types of sleep apnea are:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) This may occur up to 30 times or more an hour and cause breath cessations lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to 3 minutes. It is the most common type, occurring when soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses, closing the airway and causing you to stop breathing.
Central Sleep Apnea is more common in older adults as well as those suffering from heart disease or neurological disorders. It occurs when the brain fails to signal the diaphragm and chest muscles to breathe.
Mixed Sleep Apnea combines the two. The brain fails to signal the chest to breathe and, when the diaphragm suddenly starts moving, the airway is blocked by an obstruction. It is not uncommon to experience all three types of apnea in a single night.
Call to schedule a consultation with one of the sleep apnea specialists at The Maryland Integrative Sleep Center, a division of The Julian Center, if you are suffering from any of these variations of sleep apnea. Begin your journey to a great night’s sleep.