While one may have heard of sleep apnea, you may be wondering what is central sleep apnea? It is a breathing disorder from which many people suffer. It is characterized by the presence of abnormally low breathing or pauses in breathing while one is asleep. There are three forms of sleep apnea. Firstly central sleep apnea, where the problems in breathing are caused due to lack of effort from the respiratory system. Secondly, obstructive sleep apnea where the problems in breathing occur due to a physical obstruction and lastly complex sleep apnea which is a mixture of the other two conditions. The above paragraph would have made clear as to what is central sleep apnea.
Why Sleep Apnea Occurs Reasons and Causes
Any Damage To The Brainstem Can Cause Central Sleep Apnea
In healthy human beings the brain sends signals to the muscles that control breathing, thus allowing one to breath. In sleep apnea, these signals do not reach the muscles properly thus pauses in breathing and low breathing is caused.
The brainstem is the specific part of the brain that controls breathing, any damage to the area can cause sleep apnea. Other conditions such as heart attacks, extreme obesity, injuries, allergies radiation and use of medication which contain narcotics can cause the problem.
Obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea symptoms
Centra, obstructive and mixed sleep apnea symptoms are varied and different symptoms may be present in different people. These symptoms may go unnoticed for many years; it is usually diagnosed when another person witnesses an episode while it occurs.
Symptoms such as extreme fatigue during the daytime, sleeplessness during the night followed by sleepiness during the day and headaches will usually be present.
Central Sleep Apnea: Diagnosis and Cure
A physician is consulted for checking the above clinical symptoms, a sleep test or polysomnogram will be done to find the exact rate and time period of the episodes.
The cures such as surgery, CPAP and other alternate treatments are available to completely remove the obstructive and central sleep apnea symptoms.