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What causes sleep apnea?

What causes sleep apnea?

Posted in General

What causes sleep apnea?

People who suffer from sleep apnea experience frequent pauses in their breathing during sleep. Here, our Surrey dentist explains more about this common disorder.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

The most common type of sleep apnea is OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a collapse of the upper airway, which causes difficulties in getting sufficient air to the lungs. OSA tends to be more common in men than in women, and is more common in overweight individuals, particularly if they sleep on their backs.

When a person of normal weight suffers from obstructive sleep apnea, it is generally due to an abnormality in the lower face, such as a large tongue, an unusually small chin or an overbite.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not send normal signals to the chest to breathe properly while the individual is sleeping. The main causes of CSA are severe heart disease and neurologic disease (diseases of the brain), although some medications, such as morphine and other narcotics, are also known to cause central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is much more rare than obstructive sleep apnea. 

Mixed Sleep Apnea (MSA)

Mixed sleep apnea (MSA) is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. MSA begins as central sleep apnea, but over time develops into OSA.

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, contact our dentists at Hanin Dental to book an assessment today.

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