The Causes of Sleep Apnea – Birmingham

Sleep apnea can be a serious impediment to a good night’s sleep. A person’s sleep can be interrupted dozens of times (sometimes hundreds of times) due to poor airflow and impaired breathing. This can lead to oxygen deprivation, drowsiness, fatigue, and other major problems. Dr. Maniscalco and the team at our practice serving Birmingham would like to look at the causes of sleep apnea and people who may be at risk for the condition.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three different types of sleep apnea, each with their own unique causes. The data from your sleep study (polysomnogram) will be used to determine the exact cause of your sleep apnea. Our Birmingham team will then determine how best to meet your needs.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common kind of sleep apnea. An estimated 84% of all sleep apnea cases are obstructive in nature. During OSA, a blockage in the airway results in interrupted sleep. This blockage is usually related to the soft tissues in the back of a person’s throat or the structure of the nasal cavity.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

Central sleep apnea is therarest kind of sleep apnea. Only an estimated 0.4% of all sleep apnea cases are classified as CSA. During CSA, the brain temporarily stops signaling the muscles that control the breathing.

Complex Sleep Apnea

Complex sleep apnea accounts for an estimated 15% of all sleep apnea cases. Simply stated, complex sleep apnea refers to a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea

People At-Risk for Sleep Apnea

During your sleep apnea consultation at our Birmingham practice, we will take into account a number of other factors that may put you at-risk for sleep apnea. These risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Being male
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Being older than 40
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Having large soft tissues in the mouth (e.g., tonsils, tongue, pharynx, adenoids)
  • Having a small jawbone
  • Having  a thick neck
  • Having a deviated septum and other nasal cavity or sinus issues
  • Having gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Learn More About Sleep Apnea Treatments in Birmingham

Identifying the root cause of sleep apnea allows us to develop a surefire treatment plan. The sooner we catch and identify the cause of the sleep disorder, the better it is for you. To schedule a consultation, contact our Birmingham practice for sleep apnea treatment today. Dr. Maniscalco and our entire team look forward to discussing your situation in person.