Sleep Apnea Breathing Disorder

Obstructive Sleep Apnea versus Central Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is when the airwaybecomes narrowed or obstructed and you're making the effort to breathe but we do notsee any flow in air movement coming from your nose or mouth. Where central sleep apnea occurswhere your brain forgets to tell your body to breathe. If we're looking at it from avery simplistic term and so we do not see the drive to breathe. So the first step isto come into the and be seen by one of our physicians in the sleep medicine .We'll go through a questionnaire and try to determine what risk factors we think you havefor sleep apnea such as obesity, snoring, daytime sleepiness and then if we think thatyou have a high risk for meeting those criteria

then we would set you up for a sleep studyeither in your home to do an overnight sleep study or in our laboratory, depending on yoursituation. The CPAP can be used to treat both conditions and, in some patients, that isenough. However, there are some patients that have more complex types of central sleep apneathat require more complicated types of machines to treat that condition. Obstructive sleepapnea actually has been linked to a lot of other problems such as high blood pressureand then, you know, difficulty functioning during the day. If it goes untreated for along period of time there's an increased risk of early heart problems and those types ofthings.

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When we thinkabout breathing problems at night, we could thinkabout the problem coming from three key areas. The first one being a problemarising from the brain and the brain being a key central organ that controls the respiratorycenters that help regulate the lungs so the brainis really important here. The second one being aproblem with upper airways

so if there's anyobstruction to the airways from the mouth and the nose to the lungs, that can cause a problem. And last, but not least,we can also have a problem with the lungs themselvesor the chest wall. Anything that stops thelungs from being able to expand out. So let us take each one ofthese things step by step

and let us start bylooking at the airways. So the main issue with the airways is that obstruction to the airways causes a significant problem interms of breathing at night. And if we consider the airthat goes in through our nose and in through ourmouth reaches our lungs, we have points at which thesoft tissues around our neck may potentially relax atnight and they may potentially

block this airflow intermittently. They may potentially cause an obstruction to this airflow. And when they cause anobstruction to this airflow, you may notice some snoring or gasping and this suggests that airflow is being stopped. That term is, for lack ofeffort, is called apnea,

and all that apnea really means is that there is an absence of airflow. So if the airways are obstructed, we can have something called obstructive sleep apnea. And this condition obstructive sleep apnea is actually very common. It gets worse as people get older.

These soft tissues blockthis airflow that we have and this condition actually results in a variety of daytimeand nighttime symptoms. So we actually mentioned some of the nighttime symptoms, righté We mentioned this can have snoring, gasping for air, and these kind of apneas, these kind of pauses,breaks in the breathing

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