People suffering from sleep apnea experience breathing pauses frequently during sleep. The following are a few of the reasons people experience sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, also called OSA, is the most common variety of sleep apnea. OSA is caused by a collapse of the upper airway that makes it difficult to get air into the lungs. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in men than in women, and is more common in those who are overweight as well, particularly if they sleep on their backs.
There is usually some kind of abnormality in the lower face, like an unusually small chin, an overbite, or a large tongue when someone of normal weight suffers from OSA.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
CSA is much more rare than obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea happens when the brain doesn't send normal signals to the chest to breathe properly during sleep. The causes of CSA are typically severe heart disease or neurologic disease (that is, a disease of the brain). Some medications, particularly strong pain medications like morphine and other narcotics, are also known to cause central sleep apnea.
Mixed Sleep Apnea (MSA)
Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of the first two types. MSA will begin as central sleep apnea, and then develop into OSA over time.