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Central Sleep Apnea


Central sleep apnea is another type of apnea or loss of breath during the sleep.  In this type, the breathing repeatedly stops and starts while the person is sleeping, which often go undetected.

The cause of CSA or Central Sleep Apnea is the brain functioning deficiency. In this condition, the brain cannot send correct signal to the muscles to control the breathing. This is the fundamental difference between CSA and OSA. This condition is not very common and occurs with very less frequency as compared to OSA.

The Central sleep apnea can be present as a consequence of other crippling conditions such as heart failure and stroke. Physical surrounding can also cause this illness – like staying for the night in very high altitude areas.
There are many other medical conditions in which CSA can occur frequently -  like in people with diseases of and injuries to the brainstem, Parkinson's disease, kidney failure, or severe arthritis

Different types of Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

  1. Cheyne-Stokes breathing – Seen in people with serious medical conditions such as congestive heart failure or stroke.
  2. Drug-induced apnea can be caused by opioids, oxycodone or codeine sulphate.
  3. It can also occur at high altitudes as well, due to change in Oxygen levels. There could be alternating rapid breathing and under breathing.

Treatment choices I have for CSA

Devices can be used for treatments of central sleep apnea which can assist in breathing. The most common treatments of CSA is by using CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP works by providing compressed air blown by a mask into the airways of the person. The pressure is not kept constant but it is set at two different settings – one for inhalation (IPAP) and other for exhalation (EPAP). There are recent advancements in the usage of pacemaker for the diaphragm which can bring some relief.

There are many medicines which are used for treatment of CSA under different circumstances. Some of them are acetazolamide, theophylline, and hypnotic agents.

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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