Sleep Apnea: Types and Symptoms
Sleep Apnea: Types and Symptoms
Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by episodes of complete or partial airway collapse during sleep, which disrupts normal breathing and leads to frequent awakenings. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and complex sleep apnea syndrome (formerly known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea). OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by a physical blockage of the airway, usually due to the collapse of soft tissue in the throat. CSA is less common and is caused by a failure of the brain to properly control breathing during sleep. Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of OSA and CSA.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea symptoms can include loud snoring, choking or gasping during sleep, frequent awakenings during the night, excessive daytime sleepiness, and difficulty concentrating. However, many people with sleep apnea may not know they have the condition, as the symptoms often occur while sleeping.
Diagnosis of sleep apnea typically involves a sleep study, which can be conducted in a sleep center or at home using portable monitoring equipment. Sleep apnea treatment options include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, sleeping on your side, avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills, and using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.
CPAP is the most common treatment for OSA and involves wearing a mask over your nose or mouth while you sleep. The mask is connected to a machine that delivers a continuous air flow to keep your airway open. Other treatment options for OSA include oral appliances, which reposition the jaw and tongue to prevent airway collapses, and surgical procedures, such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) or genioglossus advancement (GA), which surgically remove excess tissue or reposition the tongue to prevent airway collapse.
CSA is treated differently than OSA and may involve using supplemental oxygen, medications to regulate breathing, or a combination of the two. In severe cases, a device known as a bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) machine may be used, alternately adjusting the pressure delivered by the machine to help maintain an open airway.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, it is important to seek medical attention. Not only can sleep apnea be detrimental to your health, but it can also negatively impact the quality of your life. Treatment can help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms and reduce your risk of developing severe health problems.
It is also essential to consider the impact of sleep apnea on your daily life. People with sleep apnea often suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, making it difficult to concentrate, be productive at work, or safely operate a motor vehicle. In addition, sleep apnea can lead to strained relationships, as the loud snoring and choking associated with the condition can keep a bed partner awake at night.
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by episodes of disrupted breathing during sleep. It can lead to serious health problems if left untreated and can negatively impact daily life. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and complex sleep apnea syndrome. Diagnosis typically involves a sleep study, and treatment options include lifestyle changes, CPAP machines, oral appliances, surgery, and medications. Lifestyle modifications, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, weight loss, and avoiding alcohol, can also help manage sleep apnea and improve quality of life.
CBT-I: A Long-Term Sleep Fix
Many people choose natural treatments to boost health and improve sleep. However, Doxepin has not been well studied, and its safety and effectiveness aren’t yet understood.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is a natural, side-effect-free sleep treatment. It involves relearning your sleep habits and addressing issues that are getting in the way of quality sleep. Studies show that CBT-I works as well as or better than sleep medications, and its effects last after the treatment.1
Fill out Dawn Health’s questionnaire to get started with CBT-I right from your computer — no in-person visits necessary. Quality, natural sleep is possible when you embark on a CBT-I treatment journey.
Software Engineer & Sleep Enthusiast