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Types of Central Sleep Apnea

Central Sleep Apnea is a dangerous medical condition where a person’s brain fails to communicate with the muscles of the body which control a person’s breathing. The brain control breathing by sending signals to the respiratory muscles in order to make them contract and expand, in central sleep apnea the brain basically fails to send these signals in a regular manner thus a person suffering from this condition will stop breathing numerous time in a single night.

The Different Types of Central Sleep Apnea

Based on the cause behind the malfunctioning of the brain, central sleep apnea can be classified into the following types:

  1. Idiopathic: Idiopathic central sleep apnea occurs rarely in people. Usually sleep apnea is caused due to another underlying medical condition. But in some people the sleep apnea cannot be associated with any under laying disease or cause; in rare cases like this the sleep apnea is classified as idiopathic sleep apnea. In short if the cause of your sleep apnea cannot be found, it will be classified in this type.
  2. Cheyne-Stokes Sleep Apnea: In this type of central sleep apnea, a person stops breathing due to failure of the heart. It is characterized by a periodic increase followed by gradual decrease in breathing effort. This decrease of breathing effort ends up causing an apnea.
  3. Central Sleep Apnea caused due to a Medical Condition: Other than the above type, other medical conditions are also present which will cause damage to the area of the brain stem which control breathing thereby causing Central sleep apnea, if your sleep apnea is caused due to such a medical condition it will be classified in this type.
  4. Drug Induce: Some drugs which you may have to take for another medical condition can cause central sleep apnea. Some examples of drugs which will cause your breathing to slow, become irregular are morphine and oxycodone.
  5. Altitude induced Central Sleep Apnea: If you travel to a place which is at a very high altitude i.e. 15000 feet or above, the altitude will make it harder for you by placing an increased stress on your heart. This may cause Cheyne-Stokes which will subsequently cause central sleep apnea.
  6. Complex: If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you will be asked to undergo CPAP therapy. While undergoing CPAP therapy you may in rare cases develop Central sleep apnea. If you do it will be classified under this type.