What is Central Sleep Apnea?

Video Overview

What is Central Sleep Apnea? Central Sleep Apnea is a condition where the brain does not communicate well with the body to breathe at a regular rhythm. Some of these patients will actually have a pause of their breathing. It may last more than 10 seconds. Other individuals may just have periods of shallow breathing and deeper breathing. It is different from Obstructive Sleep Apnea in that the airway is open during this time and not obstructed. It is common in those with congestive heart failure. It may also be common in some patients who have had a previous stroke that has affected the breathing center. It is treatable very much like Obstructive Sleep Apnea. We tend to use a little bit more sophisticated machines that deliver the pressures differently. There is a BiPAP auto SV that is commonly used. With treatment of Central Sleep Apnea we sometimes see improvement in heart function and sometimes even in cognition, with a reduction in daytime sleepiness in those who suffer from that. Many people have both central and obstructive sleep apnea and they are both managed by the BiPAP and/or CPAP machine.