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I read in another thread that hypopneas could be obstructive or central in nature. What does this mean? I was diagnosed with 10.5 hypopneas per hour during an in-lab sleep test. Why wouldn't the doctor just say what kind of event?

I was taking six hydrocodone 10/325 at the time of the test and when I began looking at my results on Rescan software, I was seeing many more hypopneas than anything else. So, anyway, I cut way back on the hydrocodone and now do not have near as many centrals as I was.
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An apnea is defined as the cessation of airflow for 10 seconds or more, but the machines score a reduction of 80% or more as an apnea. They then send out pulses of air to check for obstruction.
- An obstructive apnea is defined as a complete cessation of airflow, caused by an obstruction in the upper airway, and accompanied by a struggle to breathe for 10 seconds or more.
- A central apnea is defined as a complete cessation of airflow and no effort to breathe for 10 seconds or more. The machines score an unobstructed airway as a clear airway apnea event or a central apnea event.

A hypopnea is a decrease in airflow by at least 50% for ten seconds or more, with a 3% desaturation of blood oxygen level. The machines don't typically measure oximetry and don't check for obstruction, so hypopneas aren't differentiated as obstructive or clear/central and we typically don't differentiate when discussing them.
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