One of the three forms of sleep apnea is classified as central sleep apnea, which we will examine in some depth today. The other two forms of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea and mixed sleep apnea.
Central Sleep Apnea Facts
Why it Happens…
This form of sleep apnea is different from the most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, which is characterized by stop-starts in breathing, as well as very loud snoring.
In fact, central sleep apnea is also different because it seems to co-exist with a variety of medical problems, including brain stem problems. The brain stem is “mission control” for breathing, and any dysfunction in this area may trigger central sleep apnea.
As well, certain chronic health conditions, such as arthritis or spinal problems that cause degeneration over time, may play a role in the development and progression of this serious sleep disorder.
Sometimes, people develop central sleep apnea after an operation. Other times, they are afflicted with Encephalitis, which significantly affects the way the brain stem functions (for the worse).
People who have Parkinson’s disease, people who are quite overweight, men and women who’ve suffered from strokes, and people who take prescription or “black market” narcotics may also be at risk for central sleep apnea.
In addition, this sleep disease is often linked with episodes of congestive heart failure.
If central apnea isn’t caused by a pre-existing medical condition or an injury, it is referred to as idiopathic central sleep apnea.
What it Does to the Body
You will sleep badly when you suffer from this disorder; disruptions in breathing will occur at intervals every night, sapping your body and brain of vital oxygen.
When you wake up, you may experience excessive fatigue, sleepiness during the daylight hours, headaches (especially right after you get up) and restlessness during the night.
If your central sleep apnea is caused by a brain disorder, you may also experience changes to your voice and “numb” or “weak” sensations throughout your body.
How to Treat Central Sleep Apnea
CPAP machines or BIPAP machines are the most popular and effective treatments for central sleep apnea.
These continuous positive airway pressure and bilateral positive airway pressure machines are highly useful health care accessories that are recommended by doctors who treat sleep apnea.
The best way to find out if you have central sleep apnea is to see a doctor and request a “sleep study” – he or she will know what this means.
If you get a formal diagnosis of this form of sleep apnea from your family doctor, you may qualify for medical coverage when it’s time to buy your CPAP or BIPAP machine.
These machines work with soft, supple and comfortable CPAP nasal masks and CPAP nasal pillows. These cutting-edge machines and accessories offer true relief from even the worst symptoms of central sleep apnea, and they are the key to enjoying deep, refreshing sleep, better overall health, and a bright new outlook on life.
For more information, contact a sleep apnea specialist today.