Central sleep apnea is a form of sleep apnea affecting a large number of the population. Of the millions of Americans suffering from sleep apnea, approximately 5% have central sleep apnea.
While exhibiting the same sleep cessation symptoms that other forms of sleep apnea have, central sleep apnea involves the brain’s ability to communicate with the muscles involved in breathing control. The condition happens due to the brain’s inability to send signals to the muscles that regulate breathing.
Central sleep apnea is the least common form of sleep apnea, however the impact of the condition can be significant, especially if left untreated. This condition may arise because the patient has experienced other problems, such as a recent heart attack, stroke or even sleeping at a high altitude.
What are the Symptoms of Central Sleep Apnea?
There are several warning signs that a person may be affected by central sleep apnea. Some of the most common symptoms include:
• A shortness of breath that is remedied by sitting up in bed
• Daytime sleepiness
• Waking up in the morning with a headache
• Intense snoring
• Awaking in the middle of the night due to a shortness of breath
• Difficulty focusing, remembering or concentrating
• Visible abnormalities of breathing while asleep (usually witnessed by spouse/partner or sleep specialist)
In most cases snoring is not indicative of central sleep apnea, but may be the result of obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring alone cannot identify if the individual has central sleep apnea.
It is important to see a Phoenix sleep doctor right away if you experience more than one of the above symptoms. This is especially true if your symptoms include shortness of breath that wakes you up at night or your sleep partner witnesses any breathing abnormalities when you are asleep.
How is Central Sleep Apnea Treated?
There are a variety of treatments for central sleep apnea. Once any medical problems are addressed and a complete evaluation is conducted including a sleep apnea study, your sleep specialist may recommend the use of a CPAP machine, BPAP machine or supplemental oxygen to be received during sleep.
There are certain medications that may promote sleep apnea, including most opioids. Your doctor may gradually reduce those medications and prescribe other drugs designed to stimulate breathing. For example, those living in high altitudes may receive a prescription for acetazolamide, which helps stimulate breathing in patients with central sleep apnea.
The good news for patients who have been diagnosed with central sleep apnea is that effective treatment is available. If you or a loved one experience sleep apnea symptoms, call Arrowhead Sleep Center right away for assessment. The condition can worsen over time if left untreated.
Arrowhead Sleep Center is a premier Phoenix sleep clinic offering comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for those in need. Sleep apnea affects over 10 million Americans, and responds well to effective treatment. As a premier Arizona sleep center, the clinic accepts most insurance plan and has excellent cash prices.
Call for more information and scheduling today.