Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), and Mixed Sleep Apnea – the three types of sleep apneas.
Though OSA and CSA have similar symptoms, the treatment for the two different types of sleep apnea does somewhat vary.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the more common type and a physical issue. OSA involves obstruction of the individual’s airway. An airway obstruction occurs when an individual is sleeping. This obstruction can be caused when a tissue in the upper throat collapse and causes air to become blocked and breath is temporarily stopped. Eventually lack of oxygen causes the lungs to suck in air.
Since Central Sleep Apnea is a neurological issue unlike Obstructive Sleep Apnea which is a physical issue. This type of sleep apnea involves the region of the brain and nerves that regulate breathing do not function properly which causes breathing to be impaired. There are certain factors that can put individuals at risk for developing central sleep apnea. These factors include: being male; being diagnosed with congestive heart failure or atrial fibrillation; stroke or brain tumor; living at a high altitude; and taking certain medications that affect breathing.
As you can assume from the name, Mixed Sleep issue is a combination of both Obstructive Sleep issue and Central Sleep disorder. And like the name, the treatment for Mixed Sleep disorder may be a combination of treatments for both Obstructive Sleep disease and Central Sleep disorder.
While the same type of testing is used to diagnosis all three types of sleep disorder. The treatments somewhat vary because Obstructive Sleep issue is a physical disorder while Central Sleep disorder is a neurological disorder.
For a mild case of any of the three types of sleep disease, lifestyle changes such as losing weight or stop smoking may help. However, if the individual’s sleep disorder is severe there are a number of treatments available.
Treatment for Obstructive Sleep disease may involve a surgical procedure to remove excess tissue that is causing the airway blockage.
o The surgical procedure to remove excess tissue is called an Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). With this procedure tissue from the top of the throat and the rear of the mouth is removed, commonly tonsils and adenoids are also removed.
o A jaw correction procedure is also a form of treatment for OSA. This procedure is called an maxillomandibular advancement and is performed by a oral surgeon and an orthodontist. With this procedure, the upper and lower parts of the jaw are moved forward from the facial bones.
o Implants are another procedure offered individuals diagnosed with OSA. This procedure is referred to as the Pillar procedure and is minimally invasive. Three small polyester rods are inserted into the palate. Once the inserts harden they support the tissue of the palate and reduces the upper airway collapse. This treatment works best for individuals that have a mild or moderate case of OSA.
o For severe, life-threatening sleep disorder and all other treatments have failed, a tracheostomy (surgical opening in the neck) is performed. A metal or plastic tube is inserted into the opening in the neck. This opening is covered during an individual’s waking hours and uncovered during the sleeping hours to allow air to bypass the blocked air passage.
Some therapies are successful for individuals with sleep disorder, such as oral devices and positive airway pressure. These therapies are used for all types of sleep disorder.
Oral devices or mouthpieces are designed and fitted by a dentist specializing in dental sleep medicine appliances. These oral devices can be designed to relieve air passage blockage by bringing the jaw forward or holding the tongue in a different position. sleep apnea
The other option is sleeping with a device over the nose that applies positive airway pressure. This treatment works best for moderate or severe sleep disorder. These devices are referred to as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device or a bilevel positive airway pressure (bilevel PAP) device .
The CPAP device involves the individual wearing a mask over the nose while sleeping. The mask is attached by a hose to a device that houses an air pump which supplies constant pressured air. This pressured air keeps the upper airway open and prevents airway closure.
The bilevel PAP device involves the individual wearing a mask over the nose while sleeping and the mask is attached by a hose to a pump that provides air; however, unlike the CPAP machine which supplies constant pressured air, the bilevel PAP has a higher pressure when an individual inhales and a lower pressure when the individual exhales.