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Contrary to the appearances, sleep apnea has more than one form. This is a serious condition that can threaten your life and you should take it very seriously. Then, if you’re a truck driver, there are regulations that might forbid you to practice the job if you have sleep apnea. Find out more about DOT medical card requirements for sleep apnea and how to treat it.

But now, let’s see which the types of this disease are.

1. Obstructive sleep apnea - the most common form, is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat (pharynx) intermittently relax during sleep.

2. Central sleep apnea - unlike the one shown above, the airways are not blocked but the brain no longer transmit signals corresponding to the muscles involved in breathing.

Sleep apnea may be associated with: - hypertension - Myocardial infarction (heart attacks); - Heart failure, irregular heart beat (arrhythmia); - Strokes; - Sleepiness during the day; - Increased risk of accidents;

In general context, sleep apnea may be responsible for poor efficiency in everyday activities (work, school) or vehicle accidents.

Symptoms of sleep apnea: • Depression; • Dry throat on waking; • Irritability; • Memory disorders; • attention disorders; • Mood swings; • Snoring can be loud and persistent, usually more evident in obstructive; • nocturnal urination; • sudden awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, indicating rather than obstructive apnea Central; • insomnia (difficulty staying asleep); Obstructive sleep apnea causes:

Certain structural and mechanical problems of the airways produce pauses in breathing during sleep. Apnea occurs:

• When the neck muscles (throat) and tongue relax during sleep and partially block the airway open. • When the muscles of the soft palate and uvula at the base of the tongue relaxes and bend the airway is blocked, and breathing becomes cumbersome, difficult and noisy and even stops; • overweight people when execs tissue airway narrowing causes thereof; • When the airways are narrowed while the person continues to make efforts to breathe, but air cannot easily move in and out mouth and nose; The causes of obstructive sleep apnea: • Obesity; • Size of the tongue or tonsils big in relation to the opening of the trachea; • The shape of the head and neck determines smaller airways; • longer than normal relaxation of throat muscles and tongue;

Central apnea causes:

Include any condition or disease that deplete brain signals to breathe respiratory system data, as well as the aging process that limits the brain's ability to maintain the tense muscles of the throat during sleep. This increases the risk of narrowing or collapse of the airway. • Idiopathic central sleep apnea - not known because it produces; • Cheyne-Stokes respiration is characterized by periods of growth followed by periods of rhythmic and gradual decreasing respiratory effort and airflow breathing. During the worst apnea can occur respiratory effort (total lack of airflow). • diseases causing sleep apnea heart failure, stroke, brain stem disorder; • Apnea induced by certain drugs: morphine, codeine, oxycodone; • periodic breathing at high altitudes - a variant Cheyne-Stokes respiration can occur from exposure to high altitudes (above 4500m). Changing the concentration of oxygen in the air is the reason why the alternation of rapid breathing (hyperventilation) and slower breaths (hypoventilation); • Mixed sleep apnea, obstructive and central.

Click here for more information about sleep apnea.