2Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea happens when the brain temporarily malfunctions to signal the muscles in the airways to control the breathing. Central sleep apnea is less common as compared with obstructive sleep apnea. Moreover, the central sleep apnea is a problem of signal transmission and not a mechanical problem like obstructive sleep apnea. According to sleep scientists, the central sleep apnea accounts for almost 20% of the total sleep apnea cases. The other medical conditions and some neurological disorders lead to the development of central sleep apnea which adversely affects the brainstem. The different disorders of the sufferer lead to the indication of various symptoms of central sleep apnea.
The most common signs of this type of sleep apnea include excessive drowsiness at daytime, irregular or complete stopping of breathing during sleep, shortness of breath causing more awakenings, and chronic fatigue. While some people also experience symptoms like restless sleep, headaches in the morning, mood swings, irritability, and difficulty in focusing. The snoring symptom is less prevalent in the patients with central sleep apnea as compared with the patients of obstructive sleep apnea. Some of the other medical conditions which lead to the development of central sleep apnea include Parkinson’s disease, obesity, heart failure, and conditions which cause the malfunctioning of the brain stem. Certain medications also affect the brainstem and cause brain infections; some of these drugs are painkillers.
The people having treatments for obstructive sleep apnea might develop central sleep apnea when their treatment happens with positive airway pressure (PAP) devices. Moreover, the people having a history of a brain tumour or getting strokes are also at greater risk of developing central sleep apnea. Men are more prone to develop the condition of central sleep apnea as compared with women. The older adults ageing above 65 years is also more likely to develop this sleeping disorder. In addition to neurological disorders, people suffering from heart disorders like congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation are also at greater risk of central sleep apnea.