Types of Sleep Apnoea

Obstructive (OSA’s) Sleep Apnoea

This is caused when a blockage occurs in the throat by tissues collapsing during sleep, blocking the airway. When this blockage occurs, your breathing will temporarily cease. If the blockage is not a full one, this will cause vibrations – snoring, with slow and shallow breathing. Both forms of blockages reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood and eventually this lack of oxygen re-boosts the lungs into taking in air again.

Central Sleep Apnoea

Heart disease is the most common cause of central sleep apnoea. It occurs in the central nervous system where a signal to tell the muscles of the lungs, is stopped from leaving the brain. Again, oxygen levels will drop quite suddenly and the sleeper can wake up suddenly and can remember this happening in the morning. It is a less common form of sleep apnoea and is in most cases less disruptive of the sufferer’s daytime routine than OSA.

Mixed Sleep Apnoea

This is quite simply when both obstructive and central apnoea occur.

Whilst many people have probably not heard of the term “Sleep Apnoea”, it is a very common sleep disorder, even more common in middle-aged people than diabetes! If you are feeling fatigued, and aware that you snore, it may be a good idea to ask someone to monitor your breathing during the night as untreated sleep apnoea can lead to an increased chance in heart problems, high blood pressure, and strokes. The fatigue can also increase chances of accidents.

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