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What Is Central Sleep Apnea and How Is It Treated?

Sleep apnea:

There are three different types of sleep apnea which includes central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea or CSA is a medical condition in which a person faces difficulty in breathing while asleep on a regular basis. This is due to lack of respiratory effort while sleeping as the brain doesn’t give signals to muscles to take in air. It should be noted here that central sleep apnea is different from obstructive sleep apnea because in OSA something blocks your breathing which can be physically. CSA is considered to be a serious illness as it affects the lower brainstem which is linked with controlling breathing but is uncommon generally. Also, it is considered to be uncommon in children with age of more than a year. In other words, CSA is repetitive cessation of ventilation while sleeping resulting from lack of drive to breathe. There are events of 10 or more seconds of cessation of respiratory activity. 

Symptoms of central sleep apnea

There are a number of symptoms of central sleep apnea which are also the same for obstructive sleep apnea and it becomes difficult distinguishing between the two. These symptoms include:

  • Memory loss.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Excessive sleep at daytime.
  • Snoring.
  • Mood issues.
  • Trouble while concentrating.
  • Headaches in the morning.
  • Excessive fatigue.
  • Loud snoring.
  • Sore throat.
  • Choking during sleep which results in awakening. 
  • Episodes of stopped breathing.

Diagnosis of CSA

This disease can be diagnosed either by evaluating conditions based on signs and symptoms. Also, a sleep specialist can play an important role in diagnosing the disease by monitoring the breathing pattern overnight and monitoring other functions during sleep. This technique is referred to as polysomnography. Also, CSA can be diagnosed by performing another study in which a person is monitored for the first half of night and if the disease is diagnosed, staff wakes up the person and gives positive airway pressure for the remainder of the night. 

Types of central sleep apnea:

Drug induced apnea.

This condition results due to intake of opioid medications like morphine, oxycontin and others. A person can have issues of irregular breathing and use of such opioids can either increase or decrease breathing in a regular pattern. 

Cheyne-Stokes breathing.

This type of condition is most common in patients having complaints of stroke or heart failure. In this type, breathing may speed up then slow down, stop and after that start again. 

Treatment emergent central sleep apnea.

This condition occurs in patients who use continuous positive airway pressure for treating obstructive sleep apnea. 

Medical condition induced apnea.

There are a number of diseases which result in central sleep apnea. These illnesses include kidney disease, Parkinson’s etc.

Idiopathic central sleep apnea.

This type of sleep apnea does not have a clear cause.

High altitude periodic breathing.

As the name suggests, this type of sleep apnea can occur in people who go up to high altitude. This is due to change in oxygen levels.

How to treat sleep apnea

This medical condition or disease can be treated in several ways or through different treatment options. This involves starting with the treatment of the underlying root cause. This disease can be treated by taking heart failure medicine or by reducing or completely stopping opioid medicine. One might feel better by controlling weight, sleeping on side preferably right side instead of back, using nasal spray to keep air flowing and by getting plenty of sleep. Side sleeping helps in normal flow of blood along with less snoring. This illness can be treated by using a device that assists in breathing or also by using supplemental oxygen. Latest and newer therapy for curing this disease is transvenous phrenic nerve stimulation. This was approved by the U.S. FDA which is a system which transports or delivers electrical pulses to nerves which controls phrenic nerves during sleep which cause breathing. 

Complications of sleep apnea

It is normal to have not more than 5 CSAs per hour while sleeping. CSA can rarely be a cause of death but can result in multiple complications involving obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack and stroke. It can also increase the number of accidents due to fatigue. It is impossible to have normal sleep due to repeated awakenings by a person suffering from this disease.  

Sleeping pills UK

Sleeping pills or tablets are available on prescription in the UK. A doctor will ask questions related to sleeping patterns and arrange different tests. There are different types of sleeping medications available over the counter in the UK and also on prescription. These include loprazolam, temazepam, lormetazepam and nitrazepam. Antihistamines can also be used to help with sleep problems but are not sleep pills. These can be prescribed by doctors or bought online as these pills can sedate a person hence helping in sleeping. These pills can result in rebound insomnia when stopped after taking for a long time. Hence such pills are not recommended for use by the UK. 

Buying sleeping pills online

There are many online websites or pharmacies which operate compliantly and provide various sleeping pills including zolpidem, nitrazepam etc. The sleeping drugs can also be bought online without a prescription from the doctor. It has been observed recently that the current pandemic environment has resulted in more people buying sleeping pills online. Benzodiazepines are used by people to increase sleep time and quality. Benzos include Xanax and valium. In the UK buying such drugs i.e. benzos or any other over the counter sleeping pills without prescription is considered to be against the law and is considered to be equal to possession of Class C drug. Benzodiazepines, although illegal for use in the UK, can be found online. 

Conclusion

Although it is very convenient nowadays to get your hands on these sleeping tablets and drugs and kind of go for self-treatment at home, it is not safe at all if you are not taking any doctor’s advice or not gathering any prior information regarding these products, their efficacy and the way to go about their overall use.

Shikha Gupta

Hi, I'm Shikha, working as a Content Curator for the past 4 years. On DailyDigitalNews you can learn about Business, Digital Marketing, Sports, and much more from my writings. Moreover, I am also a bookworm and spend most of my free time reading.

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