What are the Different Types of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that results in brief, repeated interruptions in breathing while you sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea can potentially result in the development of serious health issues, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Gastric reflux

There are essentially two different types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Central sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of the condition. It occurs when the soft tissue in your throat collapses while you sleep, blocking your airway. In order to resume breathing, your brain must rouse you from sleep. This cycle often repeats hundreds of times per night without you even realizing it is happening. The most common symptom of OSA is loud snoring.

Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles which control breathing. As a result, your body doesn’t make an effort to breathe for a brief instance. These interruptions in breathing typically last more than 20 seconds at a time and are often accompanied by a change in heart rate, reduction of the oxygen level in your blood, or a relaxation of the muscles in your body. Individuals with CSA often wake up with shortness of breath or struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Dr. Heather Fleschler offers a variety of treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea. Depending on the severity of your condition, she may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Oral appliance therapy
  • CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure)
  • Micr02 sleep and snore device
  • Positional sleep therapy
  • Surgery

Central sleep apnea is often associated with other health conditions, such as heart disease, cerebrovascular disease or congenital diseases. In these situations, CSA is typically treated by remedying the underlying condition causing your sleep apnea. However, in certain situations CSA may be treated using CPAP, a common treatment for OSA. CPAP uses a mask worn while you sleep to force air into your airway.

If you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, Dr. Fleschler can help alleviate the condition and restore a restful night’s sleep. In order for Dr. Fleschler to devise the right treatment plan for your needs, you will need to undergo a diagnostic exam at a local sleep center. During your initial consultation, Dr. Fleschler will discuss this process with you in greater detail.

Please contact Dr. Heather Fleschler using the form on this page or call (713) 660-6500 today to schedule a sleep apnea consultation. We serve patients in the Houston, Texas areas of West University, Bellaire, River Oaks and Meyerland.

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