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Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea occurs in three forms; Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Mixed Sleep Apnea. 

Of the three, OSA is the most common. 


Central Sleep Apnea is rare but sometimes occurs in persons who have suffered a head

injury or stroke. CSA takes place in a region of the brain where the nerves that regulate

breathing no longer function normally and cause breathing to be impaired. It occurs

because the brain fails to instruct the body to breath. The person can breathe, but doesn’t.


During an episode of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) the upper airway repeatedly collapses

during sleep, preventing air from reaching the lungs. Breathing usually resumes with a loud

gasp, snort, or body jerk. These episodes can occur many times during the night and the

danger increases as the number of events escalate.


OSA episodes also interfere with a sound night’s rest which is essential for the body and 

mind to function efficiently. Loss of oxygen to certain vital organs can result in heart attack

and stroke among other problems. A new research paper even suggests a link between 

hearing loss and sleep apnea.


The final form is Mixed Sleep Apnea which occurs when a person experiences both central and obstructive apnea. This is extremely rare.