Sleep apnea is characterized by repeated stops and starts in breathing during sleep which causes the sufferer to wake. While most people with sleep apnea do not remember waking up, this can happen numerous times throughout the night and cause significant sleep loss.
Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder. Through working with experts in the Henry Ford Sleep Disorders Center, you can get the treatment you need to control your sleep apnea and fully sleep throughout the night.
Types of sleep apnea
There are a few types of sleep apnea. These include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea: This type of sleep apnea is more common in men than women, and occurs when throat tissues obstruct the airway so much that it narrows or closes and breathing is momentarily stopped. The person wakes briefly, may snort or gasp, and then begin breathing normally again. Snoring is often a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Central sleep apnea: Less common than obstructive sleep apnea, this form of sleep apnea occurs when the brain doesn’t send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea: A combination of both obstructive and central sleep apneas.
Sleep apnea symptoms
Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea are characteristic of other sleep disorders, although breathing is a key component of a sleep apnea diagnosis. Your doctor will work with you to determine if you suffer from sleep apnea. Symptoms include:
- Loud snoring (louder than talking or loud enough to be heard through a closed door)
- Shortness of breath that awakens you from sleep
- Pauses in breathing during sleep (someone else might notice you stop breathing during sleep)
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Chronic fatigue
- High blood pressure