Types of Sleep apnea


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Types list: The list of types of Sleep apnea mentioned in various sources includes:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea - cause by an airway obstruction or narrowing.
  • Central sleep apnea - caused by a brain signalling failure.

Types discussion: There are two main types of sleep apnea. “Obstructive sleep apnea” may represent cessation of breathing due to mechanical blockage of the airway; “central sleep apnea” appears to be related to a malfunction of the brain’s normal signal to breathe. 1

There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea, which is less common, occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to initiate respirations during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common and occurs when air cannot flow into or out of the person's nose or mouth although efforts to breathe continue.2

There are two kinds of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea is an involuntary pause in breathing - air cannot flow in or out of the person's nose or mouth.
  • Central sleep apnea is less common and occurs when the brain doesn't send the right signals to start the breathing muscles.3

    Footnotes:
    1. excerpt from NINDS Sleep Apnea Information Page: NINDS
    2. excerpt from Sleep Apnea: NWHIC
    3. excerpt from A Good Night's Sleep - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

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