Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA) is the least common condition where breathing is disrupted regularly during sleep, because of the way the brain functions. It is not that you cannot breathe (which is true in obstructive sleep apnoea); rather, you do not try to breathe at all. The brain does not tell your muscles to breathe.
Central sleep apnoea is often associated with other conditions. One form of central sleep apnoea however, has no known cause, and is not associated with any other disease. In addition, central sleep apnoea can occur with obstructive sleep apnoea, or it can occur alone.
Conditions that may be associated with central sleep apnoea include the following:
- Congestive heart failure
- Hypothyroid Disease
- Kidney failure
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Damage to the brainstem caused by encephalitis, stroke, injury, or other factors
Sleep apnoea is a serious, and potentially life-threatening, sleep disorder. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have sleep apnoea, see a doctor right away.