What's The Difference Between Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

If you or a loved one has struggled with disrupted sleep or daytime fatigue, chances are a condition known as sleep apnea is to blame. But did you know there are two main types – sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea?

While they share some similarities, it’s important to recognize the nuanced differences between these breathing disorders so you receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Here at Snoring and Sleep Solutions of Nevada, our team of sleep specialists can help unravel the distinctions so residents of Las Vegas and Nevada can gain freedom from sleepless nights.

Both sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea involve cessation of breathing episodes during sleep. However, sleep apnea has additional subtypes depending on the underlying cause of the airway collapse. 

Closeup of young woman laying on her back, in the dark with her phone in her hand, looking right into the bright screen over her phone. The light from the phone illuminates her face, and it looks as though she cannot sleep, so she's just up late on her phone.
A man with an eye mask sleeping with his mouth open and probably snoring.

Central sleep apnea stems from signals from the brain failing to initiate breaths, while complex or mixed apnea sees a combination of central and obstructive events. On the other hand, obstructive sleep apnea – the most common form – solely involves physical blockage or narrowing of the airway by soft tissues in the throat.

While symptoms like daytime sleepiness and fatigue are universal, other signs can provide clues. Those with obstructive sleep apnea may snore loudly and frequently stop breathing, often with choking or gasping. Central sleep apnea sufferers may seem to be breathing too rapidly or not breathing deeply enough.

The only way to determine which diagnosis applies is through a thorough sleep study. At Snoring and Sleep Solutions of Nevada, our state-of-the-art facility utilizes the latest equipment to capture breathing, oxygen levels, and brain waves overnight.

Armed with these results, our team of specialists can then develop a targeted treatment plan just for you. Don’t lose another night to fragmented sleep – give us a call today to take the first step towards well-rested days and nights!

So don’t get fatigued trying to decipher your shut-eye struggle alone. Contact our helpful sleep specialists today to demystify your diagnosis and start mapping a pathway to blissful, undisturbed nights of sleep!

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