What is the Difference between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea?

General & Cosmetic Dentist serving Hoboken, Jersey City & Hudson County areas of New Jersey


Sleep apnea is a serious condition which causes your breathing to be interrupted while you sleep. These breathing stoppages can occur hundreds of times a night, depriving your brain and body of the oxygen necessary to function properly.

There are essentially two types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Central sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the condition. It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses during sleep and blocks your airway. Central sleep apnea, which is much rarer, does not involve a blockage of your airway. Instead, your brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles which control your breathing.

It is much easier to identify obstructive sleep apnea since it is typically accompanied by loud snoring. Patients with central sleep apnea, on the other hand, typically do not snore. However, they still experience the daytime fatigue that also affects patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Just as there are different causes and symptoms to each type of sleep apnea, there are different treatment methods required to effectively alleviate these conditions. It is important to treat cases of sleep apnea as soon as possible, regardless of which type you experience. Failure to do so can lead to the development of serious health issues down the road, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Depression

Dr. Frank DePaola regularly treats sleep apnea patients in the Hoboken and Jersey City areas at his Center for Dental Sleep Medicine. He works closely with a sleep physician to devise a customized sleep apnea treatment plan that will correct your condition and help you sleep peacefully through the night.

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, it is important to act now. Please contact the Center for Dental Sleep Medicine today to schedule your initial consultation. Dr. Frank DePaola serves patients in Hoboken, Jersey City, and Hudson County, New Jersey.