What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. “Apnea” comes from the Greek word meaning "want of breath" and is clinically defined as any cessation of breath lasting 10 seconds or more.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common type pf sleep apnea and occurs when soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses, closing the airway and causing the sleeper to stop breathing. This may occur as many as 30 times or more an hour and cause breath cessations lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to 3 minutes.

Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain fails to signal the diaphragm and chest muscles to breathe (this is more common in older adults as well as those suffering from heart disease or neurological disorders).

Mixed Sleep Apnea is a combination of the first two types of sleep apnea. First, the brain fails to signal the chest to breathe; then, when the diaphragm suddenly begins moving, the airway is blocked by an obstruction. It is not uncommon for someone to experience all three types of apnea in a single night.

If you think you are currently suffering from one or more of types of sleep apnea, contact Beachwood Dental, the experienced East Side sleep apnea specialists, and get more information to see if you qualify for an in-home sleep study.