The 3 Types of Sleep Apnea: Obstructive, Central, & Mixed

Approximately 20 million Americans are affected by one of the three types of sleep apnea. Apnea occurs when someone stops breathing while sleeping. This leads to poor sleep since it forces the individual to wake up in order to start breathing again. If this occurs over long periods of time, it can cause a whole slew of other health issues for your patients. Your Westlake Village, CA dental sleep medicine consultants want to raise awareness of the various types of sleep apnea. This will help you better assist your dental patients who develop the condition.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The most common of the three types of sleep apnea is known as obstructive sleep apnea. This type of apnea is characterized by a partial or complete obstruction of the air passages while sleeping. This can happen only a few times each night, or it may occur as many as 30 times or more during a single hour of sleep. This, of course, results in a very poor night of sleep.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain temporarily fails to signal the muscles responsible for controlling breathing. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, which can be thought of as a mechanical problem, central sleep apnea is more of an internal communication breakdown. This situation usually occurs as a result of a problem originating in the brain stem, says Dr. Steven Greenman, and must be treated in an altogether different manner.

Mixed Sleep Apnea

As you might expect, mixed sleep apnea is a condition which includes elements of both central and obstructive sleep apneas. As indicated, it will also call for a mixed treatment approach as a result. When your patients develop symptoms of any type of sleep apnea, contact the DSM Solutions team consultants to develop an effective treatment plan individualized for each patient.

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