Central Sleep Apnea Treatment
... More Challenging
Than Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea treatment, symptoms and signs are quite different from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Central sleep apnea has more to do with your neurological aspect of breathing.

Although, both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea have a similar stop breathing symptom, at different times during your sleep cycle, central sleep apnea's cessation of breathing is not physical (not airway blockage) that stops you from breathing.

Central Sleep Apnea Treatment is Different from OSA


Think of central sleep apnea's symptom as a pause or delay in information coming from the brain. Therefore, you are able to breathe but your brain just forgets for a moment to issue your muscles the needed command.

For instance, have you ever been talking with someone and then, all of a sudden, your mind just goes blank? Well, with central sleep apnea that is somewhat how your brain malfunctions when it is telling your muscles to breathe as you sleep. If the brain does not send the message to your muscles, they do nothing.

When this happens, your body does not struggle to breathe as it does with obstructive sleep apnea; you just simply do not try to breathe at all.

Central Sleep Apnea Symptoms are More Difficult to Detect

Because there is no gasping for a breath, coughing or choking sounds, this makes it harder for you or your sleep partner to recognize any central sleep apnea symptoms while you're sleeping.

This type of sleep apnea also stems from other illnesses and injuries.

Examples of such illnesses are Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, encephalitis, strokes, and any other type of neurological illnesses and injuries involving the base of the skull or cervical spine.

In addition, there are certain types of bone disorders such as arthritis that has become degenerative that also may impair the neurological censors having to do with your breathing.

With central sleep apnea symptoms, you usually do not make loud snoring noises, become restless during sleep, or have as much daytime drowsiness.

Look more for bluish or purple hues in the fingernails and toenails and the lack of concentration or a dazed feeling in milder cases of central sleep apnea. These central sleep apnea symptoms are caused by the lack of oxygen your body needs for your brain to function properly.

These are a few reasons why a central sleep apnea treatment plan can be more challenging. While central sleep apnea is not as common a sleep apnea type as OSA is, it is just as dangerous and life threatening, if left untreated.

Take Control of Your Health


Be sure to educate yourself with as much information as possible on all types of sleep apnea. This will ensure that even the slightest of symptoms will not go unnoticed and help you and your doctor speed up determining an effective treatment solution.

Acknowledging the existence of a problem and recognizing the symptoms are the first and most important steps. Once your doctors determines you have central sleep apnea, you will be on the right path for following the prescribed central sleep apnea treatment.

Even if the central sleep apnea treatment is more challenging, you can take comfort in knowing that your sleep specialist will work with you to control your dangerous symptoms and get your life back and start feeling like yourself once again.

Note: If you or your sleep partner notice your choking or cough during your stop breathing episodes, you may also have obstructive sleep apnea. Read more about Complex Sleep Apnea here.

Return to Types of Sleep Apnea from Central Sleep Apnea Treatments

Complex Sleep Apnea Information

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