Objavljeno: January 14, 2014. u 15:59

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles that support the soft tissues in your throat, such as your tongue and soft palate, temporarily relax. When these muscles relax, your airway is narrowed or closed, and breathing is momentarily cut off.

Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea is a disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep due to lack of respiratory effort. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, in which you can’t breathe normally because of upper airway obstruction, central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. Central sleep apnea is less common, accounting for less than 5 percent of sleep apneas.
—Central sleep apnea may occur as a result of other conditions, such as heart failure and stroke. Sleeping at a high altitude also may cause central sleep apnea.
—Treatments for central sleep apnea may involve using a device to keep your upper airway open or using supplemental oxygen.

 

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas overlap, sometimes making the type of sleep apnea more difficult to determine. The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia),
  • Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea,
  • Observed episodes of breathing cessation during sleep,
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, which more likely indicates central sleep apnea,
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat,
  • Morning headache,
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia).

 

Causes of obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. These muscles support the soft palate, the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils and the tongue. When the muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in, and breathing momentarily stops. This may lower the level of oxygen in your blood. Your brain senses this inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don’t remember it.

You can awaken with a transient shortness of breath that corrects itself quickly, within one or two deep breaths, although this is rare. You may make a snorting, choking or gasping sound. This pattern can repeat itself five to 30 times or more each hour, all night long. These disruptions impair your ability to reach the desired deep, restful phases of sleep, and you’ll probably feel sleepy during your waking hours.

People with obstructive sleep apnea may not be aware that their sleep was interrupted. In fact, many people with this type of sleep apnea think they sleep well all night

—Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers. These substances relax the muscles in your throat

—Smoking. Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are people who’ve never smoked. Smoking may increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. This risk likely drops after you quit smoking.

—Prolonged sitting. Studies suggest that long periods of daytime sitting can cause fluids to shift from your legs when you recline at night, narrowing airway passages and possibly increasing the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.

 

Causes of central sleep apnea

Being male. Males are more likely to develop central sleep apnea.

Being older. People over 65 years of age have a higher risk of having central sleep apnea, especially if they also have other risk factors.

Heart disorders. People with atrial fibrillation or congestive heart failure are more at risk of central sleep apnea.

Stroke or brain tumor. These conditions can impair the brain’s ability to regulate breathing.

Causes of complex sleep apnea
. People with complex sleep apnea have upper airway obstruction just like those with obstructive sleep apnea, but they also have a problem with the rhythm of breathing and occasional lapses of breathing effort.

 

Risk factors

Being male. Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea. However, women increase their risk if they’re overweight, and the risk also appears to rise after menopause.

Being older. Sleep apnea occurs two to three times more often in adults older than 65.

Family history. If you have family members with sleep apnea, you may be at increased risk.

Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers. These substances relax the muscles in your throat.

Smoking. Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are people who’ve never smoked. Smoking may increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. This risk likely drops after you quit smoking.

Prolonged sitting. Studies suggest that long periods of daytime sitting can cause fluids to shift from your legs when you recline at night, narrowing airway passages and possibly increasing the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.