Wednesday, February 07, 2018 by Frances Bloomfield
Central sleep apnea is an uncommon condition wherein breathing repeatedly stops and starts over the course of sleep. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea which is caused by an airway blockage, central sleep apnea occurs due to the brain’s inability to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. It is also rare, and it only accounts for 20 percent of all cases of sleep apnea.
Having central sleep apnea is indicative of an underlying health issue. The five main categories of central sleep apnea include:
Apnea, or the brief cessation of breathing, is the identifying symptom for the condition, followed by intermittent periods of very shallow breathing. In addition to this, people who have it exhibit the following:
If neurological conditions cause central sleep apnea, other symptoms may then appear:
Left untreated, central sleep apnea can result in a variety of health complications. For instance, lack of sleep can lead to depression, anxiety, and other psychological conditions, meaning that central sleep apnea can negatively impact the brain. Among children, this can cause them to display behavioral problems.
Having central sleep apnea can result in blood oxygen level dips, which in turn can elevate one’s blood pressure. This stresses out the cardiovascular system and increases a person’s susceptibility to heart attack, stroke, and heart rhythm disorders.
People with central sleep apnea are also known to be more prone to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and sexual dysfunction.
Although there are no foods that can indeed prevent central sleep apnea (this entails making permanent lifestyle changes), there are some foods that can reduce this condition’s symptoms. These are:
The primary goal of central sleep apnea treatment is to identify and manage the underlying health conditions that could be causing it. For example, medication may be given to control nervous system or cardiovascular conditions, or to stimulate breathing. Other cases may require the affected person to stop using opioid drugs.
Two treatments are usually given to patients with central sleep apnea:
As was mentioned earlier, lifestyle changes can positively contribute towards normalized breathing. These lifestyle modifications include:
Central sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that results in an individual’s breathing stopping and starting during sleep. Some cases of central sleep apnea have no known cause, while others can be caused by underlying medical conditions or opioid usage. People with central sleep apnea can experience such symptoms as daytime sleepiness, restless sleep, and snoring. If no treatment is provided, this can then lead to more severe health complications, like heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
Treating central apnea will typically call for diagnosing and treating the health issue causing it in the first place. In some cases, PAP machines may be required. The severity of central sleep apnea can be lessened by making lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking and drinking, and losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.
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