Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The most prevalent type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. More than 18 million people in the United States alone suffer from the condition. The term ‘obstructive’ refers to an airway that has collapsed or has been severely blocked while a person is asleep. As with other types of sleep apnea, this blockage in the lungs causes shallow breathing or lengthy gaps between breaths.

When the airways are completely blocked the condition is referred to as obstructive apnea. If the airways are partially blocked, the condition is diagnosed as obstructive hyponea. More often we say that these persons suffer from shallow breathing. Because the passages in the lungs are significantly blocked, the air that travels through the lungs must travel through small crevices that often causes loud snoring or sometimes even choking.

This type of sleep apnea occurs most in people who are overweight. Those who are overweight may have fat or other like substances that block their lung passages and cause the issues and symptoms of snoring and choking described above while sleeping.