Types of Sleep Apnea
Apnea is the cessation of breathing. In sleep medicine, sleep apnea is identified through an overnight polysomnogram by tracking each time airflow stops for at least 10 seconds with a drop in oxygen level or an arousal from sleep.
A less severe reduction in airflow is called a hypopnea. Unlike an apnea where no airflow is detected, there is airflow during hypopneas, however it is significantly reduced. Like apneas, hypopneas must be 10 seconds or greater in length and associated with a decrease in oxygen level or an arousal from sleep.
Sleep apnea is divided into three categories:
- Central Sleep Apnea - when the brain intermittently fails to tell the lungs to breathe
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea - when an obstruction in the throat blocks airflow (snoring is a symptom).
- Mixed Sleep Apnea - a combination of both types of apnea
For more information on sleep apnea, or any other sleep disorder, contact us.