What is the Difference Between Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep ApneaWhat is the difference between sleep apnoea and obstructive sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea is when your breathing stops and starts when you are asleep. The most common type is called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).  There are several types of sleep apnoea, but the most common is obstructive sleep apnoea.

This type of apnoea occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and then block your airways during sleep.  An obvious sign of obstructive sleep apnoea is snoring.

Treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Treatments for obstructive sleep apnoea are available.

One treatment involves using a device that uses positive pressure to keep your airway open while you sleep. Another solution is to use a mouthpiece to move your lower jaw forward during sleep.

In some extreme cases, surgery may also be an option too.  Take a look at the following check list to see if you have sleep apnoea.

Symptoms of sleep apnoea mainly happen during the night, when you are asleep.

Ask yourself:

  • Does my breathing stop and start?
  • Do I make gasping, snorting or choking noises?
  • Do I wake up a lot
  • Am I know for loud snoring?

During the day, you may also experience these symptoms:

  • feeling very lethargic
  • finding it hard to concentrate
  • suffering from mood swings
  • having a headache when you wake up

Central Sleep Apnoea Causes

Central sleep apnoea results when the brain temporarily stops sending signals to the muscles that control breathing.  The condition often occurs in people who have certain medical problems.

For example, it can develop in someone who has a problem with an area of the brain called the brainstem, which controls breathing.

Conditions that can cause or lead to central sleep apnoea include, problems that affect the brainstem, including brain infection, stroke, or conditions of the neck.

Populations throughout the world are really suffering from severe obesity, this is also a leading cause of sleep apnoea.  Certain medicines, such as narcotic painkillers can lead to issues.

A condition called Cheyne-Stokes respiration can affect people with severe heart failure and can be associated with central sleep apnoea. The breathing pattern involves alternating deep and heavy breathing with shallow, or even not breathing at all, usually while sleeping.

What is Idiopathic Central Sleep Apnoea

Idiopathic central sleep apnoea (ICSA) is characterized by periodic episodes of apnoea or hypopnea resulting from decreased neural input to the respiratory motor neurons.  The control centre for breathing.

Idiopathic central sleep apnoea (ICSA) is a rare condition in which CSA occurs at night and in the absence of heart failure (HF).  While it has been reported to occur in neurological patients in particular its impact on autonomic nervous system function.

This is the part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes.

Complex Sleep Apnoea

Complex sleep apnoea syndrome (CompSAS) is a type of central apnoea characterised by the development or persistence of central apnoea’s or hypopnoeas during application of continuous positive airway pressure use of a CPAP machine.

These patients present with predominantly obstructive apnoea’s during diagnostic sleep studies.  No clinical characteristics have been identified which can distinguish them from patients with a normal response during CPAP titration.

Central Sleep Apnoea Prognosis

Certain factors put you at increased risk of central sleep apnoea:

  • Sex. Males are more likely to develop central sleep apnoea than are females.
  • Age. Central sleep apnoea is more common among older adults, especially adults older than age 65, possibly because they may have other medical conditions or sleep patterns that are more likely to cause central sleep apnoea.
  • Heart disorders. People with irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation) or whose heart muscles don’t pump enough blood for the body’s needs (congestive heart failure) are at greater risk of central sleep apnoea.
  • Stroke, brain tumour or a structural brainstem lesion. These brain conditions can impair the brain’s ability to regulate breathing.
  • High altitude. Sleeping at an altitude higher than you’re accustomed to may increase your risk of sleep apnoea. High-altitude sleep apnoea is no longer a problem a few weeks after returning to a lower altitude.
  • Opioid use.  Opioid medications may increase the risk of central sleep apnoea.
  • CPAP. Some people with obstructive sleep apnoea develop central sleep apnoea while using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This condition is known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnoea. It is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnoea’s.

For most people, treatment-emergent central sleep apnoea goes away with continued use of a CPAP device. Other people may be treated with a different kind of positive airway pressure therapy.

Can you Die From Central Sleep Apnoea?

Some persons would argue that you might not actually die in your sleep from apnoea.  When the body senses it’s not getting enough oxygen during sleep, it forces you to wake.  At this time, the  airways open and breathing resumes.

Because of this mechanism, you stand no chance of suffocating in your sleep.  However, mortality risks have been shown in clinical research to be higher in those who have sleep apnoea.

Sleep apnoea causes an imbalance in body and brain chemistry, interrupts cardiac and respiratory function, elevates blood pressure, and speeds up the heart’s rate.

When allowed to continue, untreated, this scenario will lead to a higher mortality for those who don’t treat it.

Central sleep apnoea death

People who have severe sleep apnoea, which involves frequent breathing pauses during sleep, have three times the risk of dying due to any cause compared with people who do not have sleep apnoea. This risk is represented by an adjusted hazard ratio of 3.2 after allowing for age, sex and an individuals body mass index.  When 126 participants who reported regular use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy were removed from the statistical analysis, the hazard ratio for mortality related to severe sleep apnoea rose to 4.3.

About 42 percent of deaths in people with severe sleep apnoea are attributed to cardiovascular disease or stroke, compared with 26 percent of deaths in people with no sleep apnoea.

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