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How to Figure out What Type of Sleep Apnea Your Spouse Has

Whether you’re tired of the snoring or have decided to nip the problem in the bud, knowing what types of sleep apnea are out there can set you on the right track to getting rid of it.  Just because sleep apnea has a low profile doesn’t mean you can’t develop a strategy to finally be able to sleep soundly.

Three of a kind

Sleep apnea is essentially interrupted sleep caused by some sort of breathing issue.  How your breathing is interrupted depends on the kind of sleep apnea you have.  Generally they can be grouped into three types:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): 

The most common kind of sleep apnea is referred to as obstructive because it’s quite physical.  When you sleep, all of your muscles including the ones in your throat loosen up and relax.  If your airway becomes tight enough during this process, your brain thinks you can’t breathe.

The result is that your body wakes up for a second.  You don’t notice and since your muscles get tense during that second of wakefulness your body is at ease and you fall back asleep again.  The problem is that you can get stuck in this loop.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): 

Central sleep apnea is more mental.  Like programs running in the background of your computer, your brain tells your body to breathe while it sleeps.  For whatever reason, with central sleep apnea, this signal is never sent or is lost along the way.  What results is much of the same physical reaction with your body waking you up for air.

Mixed Sleep Apnea: 

As the name implies, mixed sleep apnea is a mix of both central and obstructive.  This is usually the case for infants or as a side effect to adults with other complicated medical conditions.


Knowing what kind of sleep apnea you or your partner has is essential to ensuring you’ll be catching Z’s without waking up tired or getting sicker down the road.    That being said, how do you figure that out?

You look so peaceful when you sleep

Knowing what kind of sleep apnea you have and the severity of it is going to require a bit of guidance.  It’s not as easy as going through a checklist you find on the internet or stepping on a scale.  You’re going to have to find a specialist that’s up to the job.

An ENT will most likely suggest a sleep study.  After monitoring your partner’s apnea, they can then move on to recommending potential remedies.


At Houston Sinus & Allergy, we assess patients for the severity of their condition, and determine a treatment. Book an assessment with our experienced ENT, Dr. Nguyen, and start feeling better.


There are devices, machines and treatments that help control the different types of sleep apnea and exploring those options is enough to put you sound asleep.

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