Introduction – Central sleep apnea is a disorder in which the breathing frequently stops and starts at the time of sleeping. This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not transmit proper signals to the muscles which control breathing.
Central sleep apnea is different from obstructive sleep apnea in which an individual cannot breathe normally due to upper way obstruction. It is a less common disorder as compared with obstructive sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea may result from other several conditions including heart stroke and failure.
Causes – The main cause of central sleep apnea is when the brain fails to send signals to the breathing muscles. There are several medical conditions that affect the spinal cord, heart, or brainstem and may cause central sleep apnea. The use of several medications may cause a particular type of sleep apnea known as drug-induced apnea.
There are some types of central sleep apnea with a different cause are discussed below –
- High altitude periodic breathing – Several people have breathing problems if they reach a high altitude with 2,500 meters (8,000 feet) or more.
- Cheyne–Strokes breathing – It is one of the most common types of central sleep apnea that is associated with congestive heart stroke or failure. This type of central sleep apnea is characterized by a slow increase and then reduction in breathing effort and airflow.
- Drug-induced apnea – There are several medications including oxycodone, codeine, and opioids that may cause irregular breathing in a daily pattern.
- Treatment–emergent central sleep apnea – Several individuals use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to treat sleep apnea that may cause central sleep apnea. This type of condition is known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. It is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.
Symptoms – There are several symptoms of central sleep apnea are given below –
- Difficulty in concentration
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Mood changes
- Breathing problem
- Morning headaches
Risk Factors – There are some of the risk factors that may increase the risk of central sleep apnea are given below –
- Being male – Male people are more likely to develop central sleep apnea as compared with females.
- Heart problems – If any individual is suffering from irregular heartbeat, then it may increase the risk of central sleep apnea.
- High altitude – When you sleep at a high height then it may enhance the risk of this type of sleep apnea.
- Using opioids –The use of opioids may increase the risk of central sleep apnea.
- Age – Central sleep apnea is common among those people whose age is more than 60.