Most people know something about Sleep Apnea, especially if they have the disorder themselves. However, people might not know that there are three different types, and every individual does not have the same type.

The sleep condition has been in the news this week because it was reported that it was a contributing factor in the death of "Star Wars" celebrity Carrie Fisher who died last December. Therefore, people are researching the condition more than usual.

Detailed information

CNN gives detailed information to bring awareness to the very common Sleep Disorder.

For instance, there are about 18-20 million Americans suffering with it. It is a condition where a person stops breathing for about 10 seconds during the night. Those 10-minute intervals can be just a few each night or up to a hundred times.

The disorder ranges from mild cases to severe cases where sufferers are prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure machine, commonly known by its acronym CPAP. For extreme serious cases, doctors might recommend tissue to be removed or jaw surgery. However, it is rare for sufferers to need those aggressive procedures.

Based on what CNN had to say, it is rare that anyone dies from the sleep disorder. However, people can die from a cardiac arrest stemming from the sleep condition.

Three types

CNN mentioned the three types of the sleep condition. The most common type is called obstructive sleep apnea where the upper throat muscles are so relaxed that the airway becomes narrow and close. It is hard for a person to breathe during this type. Just like the name indicates, there is an obstruction or blockage of the airways during sleep.

This type affects twice as many men as women.

The second type is central sleep apnea. The brain fails to send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing. This is less common than the first type.

The third and final type is complex sleep apnea. This is a combination of both obstructive and central. It is often called mixed sleep apnea.

Measures to take

Symptoms to watch for include loud snoring, being short of breath, having a dry mouth or a dry throat the next morning. Also, there could be a headache upon awakening, and the person could be tired and sleepy throughout the day.

If someone believes he has any one of the three types of sleep apnea, he should discuss it with his primary physician who will recommend seeing a sleep specialist. The patient can be tested in a sleep center or through an at-home test.