Sunday, April 3, 2011

Complex sleep apnea

The majority of people who have sleep apnea have obstructive sleep apnea where the airway in the back of the throat is blocked. This blockage causes the body to stop breathing which in turn causes the body to go into panic mode which wakes you up. This routine can happens hundreds of times each night eliminating any chance of getting any rest. This is the most common type of sleep apnea; the other type is central sleep apnea which only occurs in a small percentage (about 5%) of folks with this sleep disorder. Unfortunately central sleep apnea can also occur when you are being treated for OSA, which is called complex sleep apnea.

What is central sleep apnea?

Central sleep apnea is similar to obstructive sleep apnea in that your breathing stops while you are trying to sleep. But the cause of that stoppage isn’t from the airway in the back of your throat being blocked it’s because the brain doesn’t send the correct signals to the muscles that are in charge of breathing. According to mayo clinic dot com “Central sleep apnea may occur as a result of other conditions, such as heart failure and stroke. Sleeping at a high altitude also may cause central sleep apnea.” Like obstructive sleep apnea the symptoms are usually gasping for air, loud snoring, being tired the next day and other’s similar to OSA. The causes could be heart problems, stroke or other medical disorders. There is also likelihood that the reason is unknown or idiopathic. Like obstructive sleep apnea the consequences of not seeking treatment can be serious. “

What is complex sleep apnea?

The strange thing about complex sleep apnea is that it occurs when you are being treated for OSA with a CPAP, a device that pushes air into the back of your throat. Complex sleep apnea is rare and does seem to be some controversy about whether it is a disease or not.

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