Sleep Apnea Treatment

By: The TMJ Sleep Center  08/04/2014
Keywords: Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep Apnea; "apnea" is a Greek word that means "without breath." There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed; of the three, obstructive is the most common. No matter the difference in the cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing several times during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and each time it can last for a minute or longer. Sleep Apnea may or may not be evident, to the patient or to others. An apnea event has four components. 1. First, the airway collapses. 2. Second, an effort is made to take a breath, but is unsuccessful. 3. Third, the oxygen level in the blood drops. 4. Finally, when the amount of oxygen reaching the brain decreases, the brain signals the body to wake up and take a breath. (This is what the bed partner hears as a silence followed by a gasp for air.) The most common of the three; obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a blockage of the airway. The soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep closing (obstructing) your airway. People with obstructive sleep apnea have an airway that is more narrow than normal, usually at the base of the tongue and palate. When lying flat, the palate is above the air passage. When the muscles relax, the palate and tongue can fall backwards. This obstructs the airway. With central sleep apnea, your airway is not blocked, your brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. Suffering from mixed apnea, as the name veils, is a combination of the two. Your brain will alert you periodically, while the airway is obstructed consequently sleep is extremely brief and of poor quality.

Keywords: Sleep Apnea Treatment

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