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Central Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is more common than most people think. Upwards of 18 million Americans suffer from it each year. Sleep Apnea occurs when there are small pauses in the patient’s breathing while they sleep. The pauses can last for a few seconds, or they can last up to a few minutes.

They generally occur 30 or more times per hour. They also greatly reduce the quality of your sleep. The three forms of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea (which is a combination of obstructive and central).

Central Sleep Apnea
Unlike with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea (or CSA) is caused by issues in the brain. The brain’s respiratory control centers are imbalanced when you sleep, which causes the pauses in your breathing. During the pauses in breathing, a person suffering from CSA doesn’t try to breathe. There’s no struggling for breath, and there’s not movement of the chest.

The following conditions are often associated with CSA:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hypothyroid Disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Damage to the brainstem caused by encephalitis, stroke, injury, or other factors

Depending on how severe the Central Sleep Apnea is, several dangerous problems can occur. Since your brain isn’t signaling that you need to breathe, there is no air flow to your brain. Your brain, and body, can only survive without air for so long. If the pause in breathing is long enough, the oxygen levels in your body can drop the dangerous levels. Depending on how long the pause in breathing is, the low levels of oxygen can lead to brain damage, or even death.

Treating CSA
If the CSA is associated with a disease, it can often be helped with the same treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. Some of the treatments include:

  • Losing and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills. They can make the airway more likely to collapse during sleep
  • Sleeping on your side, possibly with pillows to prop you up
  • Using nasal sprays or breathing strips to keep air flowing if you have sinus problems or nasal congestion
  • Avoiding sleep deprivation

In other cases, a CPAP machine is needed to help the treatment.

If you think that you, or a loved one, are suffering from Central Sleep Apnea, Apnix Sleep Diagnostics can help. Simply schedule an appointment with one of our 8 Greater houston Area locations today.

Bay Area/Clear Lake – Sleep Specialist Bay Area/Clear Lake

475 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, Texas 77058

Baytown/East Houston – Sleep Specialist Baytown/East Houston

2802 Garth Rd, Suite 205
Houston, Texas 77521

Bellaire/Medical Center – Sleep Specialist Bellaire/Medical Center

4003-B Bellaire Blvd
Houston, Texas 77025

Katy/West Houston – Sleep Specialist Katy/West Houston

21703 Kingsland Blvd, Suite 101
Katy, Texas 77450

Memorial/Voss – Sleep Specialist Memorial/Voss

7500 San Felipe, Suite 550
Houston, Texas 77063

Red Oak/North Houston – Sleep Specialist Red Oak/North Houston

17115 Red Oak Dr, Suite 212
Houston, Texas 77090

Sugar Land/Stafford – Sleep Specialist Sugar Land/Stafford

136 Eldridge Rd, Suite G
Sugar Land, Texas 77479

Home Office

Bellaire/Medical Center – Sleep Specialist Bellaire/Medical Center

4003-B Bellaire Blvd
Houston, Texas 77025

Phone: (713) 349-9767

Fax: (713) 349-9634