Central Sleep Apnoea

What is Central Sleep Apnoea?

Central Sleep Apnoea

Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA) is a sleep disorder where breathing intermittently ceases during sleep due to the brains failure to instruct the lungs to breath.   Different from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), pauses in breathing due to CSA are caused by a lack of respiratory signal from the brain to breathe rather than a physical obstruction.  CSA can cause your body retain carbon dioxide, leading to morning headaches or confusion.

Many symptoms and untreated effects of OSA also occur in cases of CSA, although loud snoring is less common in cases of CSA.

CSA been associated with:

  • Heart failure – Slow circulation from the heart has an adverse effect on the normal reflexes causing over-breathing and under-breathing, followed by cessation of breathing
  • Previous stroke or some medications – May alter the breathing control centre of the brain
  • Neuromuscular disorders – Can contribute to a weakening of the respiratory muscles

CSA is often associated with OSA with the two conditions co – existing during sleep.

In order to make a diagnosis a thorough evaluation of your symptoms is done by a Sleep Specialist and should involve a sleep study.

CPAP may help with CSA particularly when it is associated with snoring and OSA.