The Key Difference Between Obstructive And Central Sleep Apnea

Man sleeping in bed wearing CPAP mask

If you don't suffer from sleep apnea, you may know very little about it. But the chance that you or someone you love will have issues with sleep apnea grows greater every day. Affecting roughly 22 million Americans today, one of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea. This condition exhibits the following: Referred to as apnea events, while you sleep, your breathing is interrupted in the form of repetitive pauses.

Sleep apnea does, however, come in several forms. Obstructive and central sleep apnea are the two most prominent types. Of those two, the most common is obstructive. Depending on which disorder you suffer from, there are different treatments used to assist with the condition. That's why it's important to know just which condition you have.

Let's examine the two types of sleep apnea and how they differ.

Central Sleep Apnea

With CSA (central sleep apnea), a lack of respiratory movements is driven by the cessation of respiratory drive. Your breathing is disrupted regularly during sleep due to the manner in which your brain functions. Unlike those suffering from OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), you actually are able to breathe. The thing is, your muscles aren't being told to breathe by your brain. So, you simply don't try.

Severe illness is frequently associated with CSA. Especially if the lower brainstem is involved in the illness. When that part of your brain is affected, so may the control over your breathing be influenced.

Note: Pauses in breathing, lasting as long as 20 seconds each, can be caused by CSA in newborns.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) occurs while you sleep, and your upper airway gets either completely or partially blocked. In order to draw air into your lungs, your diaphragm and chest muscles must work harder during this obstruction to open up the blocked airway.

There are several general and/or behavioral measures that you can take to help avoid this occurrence. These are as follows:

  • Instead of sleeping on your stomach or back, try sleeping on your side.
  • Weight loss.
  • Anywhere from 4 to 6 hours before you go to bed, avoid partaking in alcohol.

The above are nonsurgical treatments considered relatively conservative. Weight loss and positional therapy are, more or less, guidelines. There is evidence that they have been a successful strategy in the care of patients suffering from OSA in any number of cases.

Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

Thanks to the technologies we have access to today, there are helpful devices on the market that can assist individuals curious as to whether or not they are suffering from sleep apnea. As an example, the LOOKEE Health-Technology company has come out with monitors that can keep track of your sleep and pulse ox patterns. The information can be downloaded so that you will have a more accurate idea of what's going on while you sleep.

If the results point to sleep apnea, you can bring this information to a doctor who will help you determine a course of action.

Sleep Apnea Devices and More at LOOKEE

LOOKEE Health-Technology offers sleep apnea sufferers assistance through our selection of products. We also carry hand exerciser grip strengtheners, infrared thermometers, blood pressure monitors, and personal ECG monitors.

Could you use a little bit of assistance in keeping track of your temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, or pulse ox? With our high-tech but easy to use devices, you can do that in the privacy of your own home, at the gym, or in your hotel room on vacation.

We make keeping track of your health a simpler process. Check us out today! Please feel free to contact us with any questions.