What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition marked by abnormal breathing during sleep. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s supply of oxygen, leading to potentially serious health consequences.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
-Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
-Central sleep apnea (CSA)
-Mixed sleep apnea
-Disrupted breathing in which a person’s respiration can become labored or even stop for up to a minute at a time
-Excessive daytime sleepiness
-Snoring, including snoring that is especially loud and involves gasping, choking, or snorting that may cause a person to briefly wake up
-Morning sore throat or dry mouth
-Frequent need to wake up to urinate
-Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, reducing the use of sedatives, and sleeping on your side, can resolve some cases of OSA. There are also specialty pillows for sleep apnea that may help reduce the symptoms and severity of sleep apnea.
-Another common treatment is nightly use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machine. These devices push air through a mask and into the airway to keep it open during sleep.
-Some types of mouthpieces that hold the jaw or tongue in a specific position are an option for people with certain anatomical features that trigger mild OSA.