Sleep apnea is a condition that makes you stop breathing while you are asleep. With sleep apnea, your breathing is interrupted by repeated pauses known as apneic events. The forms of sleep apnea include obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed or complex sleep apnea which combines the tho other types. Sleep apnea might cause severe health problems. It can increase the risk for strokes, diabetes, heart attack, obesity, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and heart failure. If you are suffering from this condition, take a look at this website for the possible solutions to any type of sleep apnea you are dealing with right now.
Here are some of the most important things you have to keep in mind if you have been diagnosed with this condition
What is central sleep apnea?
This condition is a sleep disorder in which you briefly stop breathing while sleeping. Moments of apnea can repeatedly happen throughout the night while you are sleeping. The interruption of your breathing might indicate a problem with your brain’s signaling. Is like your brain forgets to tell your muscles to breathe. Central sleep apnea it is not the same as obstructive sleep apnea. OSA is the interruption of breathing due to blocked airways. Usually, people who have central sleep apnea don’t have blockages in their airways. The problem is in the connection between the brain and the muscles that control your breath.
What causes central sleep apnea?
Health condition causes most of the cases of central sleep apnea. When you are having an episode of obstructive sleep apnea, your brainstem won’t tell your breathing muscles to function correctly. The brainstem is the section of your brain that connects to your spinal cord. Medical conditions affecting your brainstem, heart or spinal cord can develop central sleep apnea.
Here are some of the examples of these conditions:
- Heart attack
- Congestive heart failure
- A weak breathing pattern
- Arthritis in the cervical spine
- Parkinson’s disease
Some medications can also cause a certain type of central apnea called drug-induced apnea. Powerful painkillers can lead to irregular breathing patterns.
Drugs that can develop central sleep apnea include:
What are the symptoms of central sleep apnea?
- Short periods during sleep when breathing stops
- Waking up feeling short of breath
- Lack of oxygen causing you to wake up frequently through the night
- Daytime sleepiness
- Trouble in concentrating
How is central apnea diagnosed?
A doctor will order a sleep study called polysomnography. The test occurs overnight as you sleep in a special sleep center. During this test, you will wear electrodes on your head and body to measure your oxygen levels, breathing pattern, brain activity, heart rate and lung function.
What are the treatments for central sleep apnea?
- Continuous positive air pressure (CPAP): It provides a steady source of pressure in your airways as you sleep. This device is used as a mask over your nose and mouth that delivers pressurized air throughout the night.
- Bi-level positive air pressure(BPAP): This device adjusts the air pressure to a higher level when you inhale, and a lower level when you exhale.
- Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV): This device monitors your breathing as you sleep. A computerized system remembers your breathing pattern. This system regulates your breathing pattern to prevent apnea episodes.
Any type of sleep apnea is considered dangerous for your health. If you are suffering from this exhausting condition, it is recommended to treat it as soon as possible to avoid further problems. This video explains in detail a few of the most common consequences of sleep apnea.