Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep.
There are multiple types of sleep apnea, including:
Obstructive sleep apnea - Associated with the relaxation of throat muscles, which can disrupt breathing. It can also occur when the airway is blocked by enlarged tonsils or adenoids. This is the most common type of sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea – The result of the brain failing to send signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Complex sleep apnea syndrome - A combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Common Sleep Apnea symptoms include:
- Loud snoring
- Breathing stops during sleep, which would be observed by someone else
- Gasping for air while sleeping
- Dry mouth when waking up
- Headaches during the morning
- Challenges with staying asleep, which may also be associated with insomnia
- Feeling excessively tired during the day
- Challenges with paying attention when awake
Patients with sleep apnea have an increased risk of developing more serious health conditions, including:
Because sleep apnea can be associated with serious health conditions, it is important to see a sleep disorders specialist if you or a loved one experience sleep apnea symptoms.