Central Sleep Apnea
Central Sleep Apnea is much more uncommon. This is the type of sleep apnea that occurs because of a neurological dysfunction that causes the brain to not send the proper signals to trigger proper breathing while asleep. It can be caused by a natural neurological dysfunction, or it can even be caused by medication, or as a secondary symptom of a different condition. If your sleeping stops while asleep, but there is no snoring or obstruction, it's possible it's Central Sleep Apnea.
Mixed Sleep Apnea / Complex Sleep Apnea
Sometimes, a patient will have both Central Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In these cases, separate treatments may be needed to treat the Obstructive side of their Sleep Apnea versus their Central Sleep Apnea.
Central and complex sleep apnea treatments
- Existing medical conditions. Better management of existing medical conditions that include heart or neuromuscular disorders.
- Supplemental oxygen. Supplemental oxygen in various forms as well as different devices to deliver it is available to deliver additional oxygen to your lungs and may help with sleep apnea.
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This is the same approach used in obstructive sleep apnea and involves the use of a mask to deliver pressurized air to keep your airway from collapsing.
- Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP). This approach regulates the air pressure between breathing and exhaling and is like that used in obstructive sleep apnea.
- Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV). This more recently approved airflow device learns your normal breathing pattern and stores the information in a built-in computer. After you fall asleep, the machine uses pressure to normalize your breathing pattern to prevent pauses in breathing. ASV may be more successful than CPAP in treating central sleep apnea, however more study is needed.