Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition in which breathing is interrupted during sleep. Loud snoring and fatigue after a full night of sleep can be symptoms of an underlying disorder like sleep apnea. There are two main types of sleep apnea and knowing the difference between them can be helpful in determining the best treatment for you.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is the most common form of sleep apnea. It occurs when the muscles and tissue in the back of the throat relax, restricting your airway and lowering your blood oxygen levels. This causes your brain to awaken you briefly and reopen your airway. When this happens you may gasp, choke, or snort. This can also prevent you from reaching the deeper phases of sleep causing fatigue, difficulty concentrating and morning headaches.

Risk factors of OSA include:

  • Obesity
  • Narrowed airway
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Family history
  • Asthma
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Sex
  • Diabetes

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea is a less common disorder in which breathing frequently stops during sleep. Unlike OSA, there is no physical strain on your airways. Instead, your brain fails to transmit signals to your body that control breathing. This, like all forms of sleep apnea, will disturb sleep. You may awaken with shortness of breath, have a difficult time falling or staying asleep and experience excessive daytime drowsiness.

Central Sleep apnea is potentially a serious medical condition if left untreated. Complications include severe fatigue, irritability, and even cardiovascular problems.

Risk factors of central sleep apnea include:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Heart disorders
  • Stroke
  • Brain tumor
  • Structural brainstem lesion
  • High altitude
  • Opioid use

Visit a Sleep Apnea Center in Jacksonville, FL

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects millions nationwide. Going to a specialist at a sleep apnea center can save you from potentially serious health consequences. If you’re suffering from a sleep problem that leaves you feeling chronically fatigued, irritable, and sleepy, call the Dream Team at Jacksonville Sleep Center today. We are dedicated solely to helping patients improve their quality of life through a better night’s sleep. Dr. Peter Nassar (Board Certified Sleep Physician) personally consults with each patient to ensure their treatment plan fits their specific sleep issue. Contact us for an appointment today!