Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea is one of the most common types of sleep disorders that is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. It can be caused by several factors, including damage to the respiratory control centers of the brain, conditions that limit the airway, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, neurogenic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, or some medications.

In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, types, diagnoses, and treatment of this sleep disorder. If you wish to learn more about this condition, just keep on reading. Central sleep apnea is a condition that is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. It can be caused by several factors, including damage to the respiratory control centers of the brain, conditions that limit the airway, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, neurogenic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, or some medications.

In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, types, diagnoses, and treatment of this sleep disorder. If you wish to learn more about this condition, just keep on reading.

What is central sleep apnea?

central sleep apnea csa

Central sleep apnea is a disorder that causes the sufferer to stop breathing for several seconds during sleep. The term “central” refers to the location of the respiratory control center in the brain, which does not respond quickly enough when signals are sent by the body or environment.

During central sleep apneas, the muscle tone of the throat muscles is maintained, meaning that airways are not obstructed. The pauses in breathing that occur during central sleep apnea usually last for a few seconds at a time and can last as long as 30 seconds or longer.

It is important to note that breathing resumes normally between episodes, so no choking or gasping occurs unless the brain wakes up the person. Furthermore, symptoms may vary depending on the individual.

How common is central sleep apnea?

control breathing

The prevalence of central sleep apnea in Europe and North America is not well known. However, it is estimated that 2% to 4% of middle-aged men may experience this type of sleep apnea. On the other hand, when taking into consideration central and obstructive sleep apneas, about 25% of men may experience sleep apneas during their sleep.

Symptoms of central sleep apnea

sleep apnea information

Symptoms of central sleep apneas include:

  • Pauses in breathing during sleep, sometimes lasting as long as 30 seconds or longer.
  • Frequent awakening from sleep, usually accompanied by gasping or snoring.
  • Loud snoring is interrupted by periods of silence during which the person is not breathing.
  • Daytime drowsiness and fatigue.

The symptoms of this sleep disorder may vary from person to person.

Types of central sleep apnea

risk factors

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea syndrome. It occurs when the airway becomes obstructed or blocked during sleep. This blockage prevents air from flowing through the nose or mouth, causing interruptions in breathing (apneas), snoring, poor sleep quality, and fragmented sleep.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea:

  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Snoring that is audible
  • During sleep, we have observed instances of breathing that have stopped.
  • Gasping or choking in response to sudden awakenings.
  • Having a dry mouth or sore throat when you first wake up
  • Headache in the morning
  • Having trouble concentrating throughout the day
  • Depression or irritability are examples of mood changes.
  • High blood pressure is a medical condition.
  • Libido has been reduced.
See also  Menopause and insomnia

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the muscles in the back of your throat relax to the point where you are unable to breathe normally while sleeping. Several tissues, including the back of your mouth (soft palate), the triangular portion of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils, and the tongue, are supported by these muscles.

While breathing in, your airway narrows or closes as your muscles relax, causing you to have difficulty breathing for up to ten seconds or more. This might result in a decrease in the amount of oxygen in your blood as well as a buildup of carbon dioxide.

When your brain detects that you are having difficulty breathing, it briefly awakens you from your sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is frequently so quick that you aren’t even aware that it happened.

In certain cases, shortness of breath can be experienced upon waking that resolves relatively quickly, within one or two deep breaths. You might snort, choke, or gasp as a result of your actions.

This sequence can repeat itself five to thirty times or more every hour, all night long, depending on the time of day. These interruptions limit your capacity to enter the deepest, most peaceful periods of sleep, and you will most likely feel sleepy during your waking hours as a result of these events.

People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea may not be aware of the interruptions in their sleep. Many persons who suffer from this sort of sleep apnea are completely unaware that they haven’t slept well all night.

Central sleep apnea

idiopathic central sleep apnea

When your breathing repeatedly stops and resumes during sleep, you have central sleep apnea, which is a medical condition.

Because your brain does not provide correct signals to the muscles that control your breathing, central sleep apnea can occur during a sleep cycle. This disease is unlike obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when you are unable to breathe normally because of an obstruction in the upper airway. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common than central sleep apnea, which is less common.

Central sleep apnea occurs due to a variety of medical disorders, including heart failure and stroke. It is also possible that sleeping at a high altitude is the cause.

Treatments for central sleep apnea may include the management of pre-existing diseases, the use of a breathing assist device, or the administration of supplemental oxygen.

The following are some of the most common indications and symptoms of central sleep apnea:

  • Sleep disturbances that have been seen, such as not breathing or aberrant breathing patterns
  • Awakenings that are followed by shortness of breath
  • Having trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
  • Excessive drowsiness during the day (hypersomnia)
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Mood swings occur.
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Snoring

Even though snoring implies a degree of an airflow blockage, snoring can also be detected in the presence of central sleep apnea, which is a more serious condition. Snoring, on the other hand, may not be as noticeable in people who have central sleep apnea as it is in people who have obstructive sleep apnea.

Consult a medical practitioner if you are experiencing — or if your spouse is experiencing — any of the following indications or symptoms of central sleep apnea, particularly if you have:

  • Shortness of breath that causes you to wake up from your slumber
  • Interruptions in your breathing while sleeping
  • Having trouble falling asleep
  • Experiencing excessive daytime drowsiness, which may cause you to fall asleep at your desk, in front of the television, or even while driving.

Consult your doctor if you are experiencing chronic lethargy, sleepiness, or irritability as a result of a sleep disorder. Excessive daytime drowsiness can be caused by a variety of conditions, including not allowing yourself enough time to get enough sleep at night (chronic sleep deprivation), having frequent episodes of sleep (narcolepsy), or having obstructive sleep apnea (which causes you to breathe through your mouth).

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to provide signals to the muscles that control your breathing while you sleep.

See also  Sleep disorder in children

Several disorders can impair the ability of your brainstem — which connects your brain to your spinal cord and governs numerous functions such as heart rate and breathing — to control your breathing while you sleep. Central sleep apnoea is one of these conditions.

The underlying cause of central sleep apnea differs depending on the type of disorder you have. The following are examples:

  • Cheyne Stokes respiration is a type of deep breathing. It is most usually connected with congestive heart failure or stroke in this type of central sleep apnea. Cheyne-Stokes breathing is characterized by a steady increase in breathing effort and airflow, followed by a gradual decrease in breathing effort and outflow. A complete loss of airflow (central sleep apnea) can occur even when the person is doing the least amount of effort.
  • Apnea caused by medication: Breathing irregularities can occur when you take certain medications, such as opioids (morphine (MS Contin, Kadian, and others), oxycodone (Roxicodone, Oxycontin, and others), or codeine. You may notice your breathing becoming irregular, increasing and decreasing in a regular pattern, or stopping completely for a period of time.
  • Breathing at a high altitude on a regular basis: When you’re at a really high altitude, it’s possible to develop a Cheyne-Stokes breathing rhythm. At this altitude, the shift in oxygen content is the cause of the alternating rapid breathing (hyperventilation) and under breathing, that occurs.
  • Treatment emergent central sleep apnea: When persons with obstructive sleep apnea use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for their sleep apnea treatment, they may develop central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is a disorder that develops after therapy for obstructive or central sleep apnea. It is a combination of the two conditions.
  • Central sleep apnea is caused by a medical issue: Cheyne-Stokes type central sleep apnea can be caused by several medical disorders, including advanced renal disease and stroke, among others.
  • Idiopathic (primary) central sleep apnea is a type of sleep apnea that occurs randomly. The exact cause of this rare kind of central sleep apnea is currently unknown.

How is central sleep apnea diagnosed?

In order to diagnose central sleep apnea, a thorough clinical history and examination of the patient typically need to be carried out.

The first step is a clinical examination. That includes a physical exam of the heart and lungs to look for evidence of congestive heart failure, chronic lung disease, or hypoventilation syndrome.

If these tests turn up negative, then your doctor will probably conduct an overnight sleep study in which you are connected to sensors that monitor several aspects of your breathing while you sleep.

The central apnea index is a score of the number of times an individual stops breathing while sleeping, usually for 10 seconds or longer. This lower score means that there have been fewer occurrences of central sleep apnea during the recording.

What is the treatment for central sleep apnea?

respiratory medicine

Phrenic nerve stimulation

Phrenic nerve stimulation is a non-surgical treatment that involves the use of mild electrical impulses to stimulate the phrenic nerve, which runs from the neck down into the chest.

The main objective of this treatment is to increase the frequency and depth of breathing during sleep for patients with central sleep apnea or other types of sleep apnea. It can also be used to treat congestive heart failure.

Generally, this treatment does not cause significant side effects or complications. However, it is an invasive procedure and can potentially lead to injury of the phrenic nerve or surrounding structures.

Bilevel positive airway pressure

Bilevel positive airway pressure, also known as BiPAP, is a type of non-invasive ventilation that is used to treat central sleep apnea. It involves the use of two different types of air pressure provided by a machine through hoses or masks that fit into the person’s nose. BiPAP is often effective for treating mild to moderate cases of central sleep apnea.

Bilevel positive airway pressure is usually administered in an outpatient setting. The patient may not require hospitalization.

Continuous positive airway pressure

Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, is also used to treat central sleep apnea. This treatment option involves the use of mild air pressure delivered through hoses or masks that fit over the person’s nose.

See also  Most common sleep disorders

This procedure can be done in an outpatient setting and does not require hospitalization. It typically benefits patients who have milder forms of central sleep apnea. CPAP is generally most effective when used continuously throughout the night.

Adaptive servo-ventilation

Adaptive servo-ventilation is a non-invasive ventilation treatment for patients who have central sleep apnea with Cheyne–Stokes breathing, or excessive daytime sleepiness related to central sleep apnea. The main objective of this treatment is to keep the person’s blood oxygen levels and carbon dioxide levels within a safe range while they are sleeping at night.

It is typically administered in an outpatient setting and benefits patients who have moderate cases of central sleep apnea. Generally, it does not cause significant side effects or complications.

Conclusion

Central sleep apnea is a form of sleep apnea that occurs when the brain fails to send appropriate signals to start breathing or breathe deeply. It is often caused by damage to the respiratory control center in the brainstem and can lead to repeated episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep.

Treatment options for central sleep apnea include the use of CPAP, BiPAP, or adaptive servo-ventilation. These treatments require a person to wear equipment that delivers mild air pressure to keep the airway open during sleep. Other treatment options for central sleep apnea include phrenic nerve stimulation, which involves stimulating the phrenic nerve, and tracheostomy.

FAQ’s

Can central sleep apnea go away?

For the most part, sleep apnea is a chronic problem that does not go away. Anatomy tends to remain set, especially after adolescence has ended. Therefore, children with sleep apnea may keep hope for the problem being successfully and totally addressed.

How do you treat central sleep apnea?

The use of a CPAP machine is a common treatment option for central sleep apnea. This machine involves the use of mild air pressure that flows through hoses placed in the mouth or nose. This treatment does not cause significant side effects or complications, however, it is an invasive procedure that can potentially lead to injury of the phrenic nerve or surrounding structures.

Another common treatment for central sleep apnea is the use of BiPAP, which involves the use of two different types of air pressure provided by a machine through hoses or masks that fit into the person’s nose. This procedure can be done in an outpatient setting and does not require hospitalization, however, it also tends to have a high complication rate. Adaptive servo-ventilation is a non-invasive ventilation treatment option for patients who have central sleep apnea with Cheyne–Stokes breathing, or excessive daytime sleepiness related to central sleep apnea. The main objective of this treatment is to keep the person’s blood oxygen levels and carbon dioxide levels within a safe range while they are sleeping at night. Finally, phrenic nerve stimulation is typically administered in an outpatient setting and can potentially benefit patients who have moderate cases of central sleep apnea. This procedure involves the use of electrodes to stimulate the phrenic nerve, which is responsible for controlling the diaphragm.

Is central sleep apnea a death sentence?

The answer to this question depends on the severity of a person’s central sleep apnea. If a person has mild or no symptoms, their condition is likely to be managed with conservative treatments. However, if the condition is more severe and associated with other chronic conditions, such as obesity or heart failure, then it can be a life sentence.

What is the root cause of central sleep apnea?

Central sleep apnea can result from damage to the respiratory control center located in the brainstem, which tells a person when to start breathing or breathe deeply. Central sleep apnea can also be caused by other issues, such as obesity and heart failure, which reduce the amount of air a person’s lungs can hold.

Does central sleep apnea go away?

Central sleep apnea is a chronic condition, meaning that it does not go away with time or treatments. However, this condition can be managed to a certain extent using a variety of treatment options.

Leave a Reply