Sunday, November 21, 2010

Central Sleep Apnea

When most people think about sleep apnea they think about obstructive sleep apnea where the airway in the back of the throat is blocked causing the sleep apnea sufferer to gasp for air many times per hour while they are sleeping. This is by far the most common form of sleep apnea. The other sleep apnea is central sleep apnea which has nothing to do with a blocked airway in the back of the throat but it can be as dangerous as obstructive sleep apnea.

What causes central sleep apnea?

Central sleep apnea is where the brain sends signals that cease breathing. According the WebMD “Central sleep apnea is often associated with other conditions. One form of central sleep apnea, however, has no known cause and is not associated with any other disease. In addition, central sleep apnea can occur with obstructive sleep apnea, or it can occur alone.”

Possible illnesses or conditions

  • ALS 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Alzheimer’s 
  • Stroke 
  • Injury to the brain stem 
  • Encephalitis

A lot of the symptoms that obstructive sleep apnea sufferers have central sleep apnea have also. Such as being tired during the day, poor memory, mood problems and going to the bathroom at night.


If you feel that you have central sleep apnea check with your doctor, they might want to set up a sleep study for you. Like OSA a cpap machine could be the cure for you.

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