What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is clinically defined as a condition where you stop breathing in your sleep. The frequency and length of time breathing ceases can vary—in some patients, it’s for a couple of seconds a few times a night. However, in extreme cases, we’ve had some patients stop breathing for up to a minute.
There are two types of sleep apnea that patients suffer from—one is due to a physical impairment, and one is neurological.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
It is a sleep apnea that is caused by a physical obstruction within the airway. Often this obstruction is caused by enlarged tonsils or tongue, septal deviation, or obesity that causes an enlarged neck circumference. Snoring is a result of that blockage restricting airflow partially or fully causing the unique sound.
It is a bit different and is less common than obstructive sleep apnea. With central apnea, breathing stops due to a neurological abnormality that results in the brain failing to signal the lungs to breathe.