Sleep apnea is a common condition that involves frequent breathing pauses during sleep. The following are a few of the reasons people experience sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive Sleep Apnea the most common type of sleep apnea. It is caused by a collapse of the upper airway, which makes it difficult to get air into the lungs. OSA is more common in men than in women, and is also more common in those who are overweight, particularly if they sleep on their backs.
When people of normal weight have obstructive sleep apnea, there is usually some kind of abnormality in the lower face, like an unusually small chin, an overbite, or a large tongue.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is far more rare than obstructive sleep apnea. It happens when the brain does not send normal signals to the chest, telling it to breathe properly during asleep. The causes of central sleep apnea are most often neurologic disease (that is, a disease of the brain) or severe heart disease. Some medications, particularly strong pain medications like morphine and other narcotics, are also known to cause cental sleep apnea.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
Mixed sleep apnea, is a combination of the first two types. It will begin as central sleep apnea, and then develop into OSA over time.