Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea, and affects over 85% of people who are diagnosed with sleep apnea.1 It is caused by the muscles in the back of your throat relaxing and interfering with your breathing while you sleep.
When these muscles relax, your airway narrows
or closes as you breathe. If your airway is partially blocked, snoring often results. When the airway becomes more blocked, you can’t get enough air into your lungs. Your brain responds to the higher carbon dioxide and lower oxygen levels in your blood by briefly rousing you from sleep so that you can take a breath. Your partner may notice that you make a gasping or choking sound.2
This can happen many times a night without you being aware of it. You may think you slept all night but obstructive sleep apnea causes poor quality sleep and often results in sleepiness during the day.1
Other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include poor concentration, morning headaches, depressed mood, night sweats, weight gain, lack of energy, forgetfulness, sexual dysfunction and frequent urination at night.3
Central sleep apnea is a more uncommon form of sleep apnea affecting approximately 10% of sleep apnea sufferers. It is caused by the brain failing to send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing. Some people have mixed sleep apnea which is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
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