Types Of Sleep Apnea

Check out our latest blog post about sleep apnea! We have a respiratory team that can help you manage your sleep therapy in the Rockford area and our conveniently located at 811 S. Perryville Rd. Come see us today or give us a call at 815-708-7456!


Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders, affecting nearly 20 million Americans. Those affected by sleep apnea suffer from abnormal breathing patterns, causing disruptions in oxygen flow. These disruptions can occur anywhere from a few times a night to several hundred, and cause the brain to recede from deep sleep. When this happens, the affected person’s sleep cycle is disrupted, and in turn, this prevents them from getting a good night’s sleep. As we discussed in our last post, fatigue is just one of many symptoms associated with sleep apnea. What many people do not realize is that there are actually three distinct types of sleep apnea. Here, we will look at the differences between them.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, is the most common form of this disorder. Like its name implies, OSA is caused by an obstruction in your airway. The obstruction is caused when your throat muscles relax as you fall asleep. This allows either the fatty tissue in your neck, or your tongue itself, to fill your airways, preventing breathing. When this happens, blood flow to the brain is restricted, and this is what causes your brain to wake up.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is much less common than OSA. CSA occurs because your brain fails to instruct your body to breath normally. The problem is not that you are unable to breathe, as with OSA, but that you do not even attempt to breathe. CSA can occur alongside OSA (more about this below), or without it. CSA is often a sign of a more serious illness, such as congestive heart failure, kidney failure, stroke, and a wide variety of neurological disorders.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Complex sleep apnea, also known as mixed sleep apnea, is a combination of CSA and OSA. Complex sleep apnea was first observed during sleep trials by the Mayo Clinic in 2006. Patients who appeared to have OSA were treated, and once their obstructions were cleared, their sleep apnea continued, and they begin to appear more like a traditional CSA patient.

We are proud to offer the best CPAP supplies in the Rockford area. We know that sleep apnea can be a major disruption to your daily life, which is why we carry only the finest CPAP machines. If your doctor recommends CPAP therapy for your sleep apnea, contact us for the best CPAP equipment.

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