Complex Sleep Apnea

Complex sleep apnea, or mixed sleep apnea, is a sleep disorder characterized by the presence of both central (CSA) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is common for a person with CSA to develop OSA, and the reverse is also true. When left untreated, the pauses in breathing caused by OSA can lead a patient to develop central apnea.

As both types of apnea can be treated with a continuous positive air pressure machine (CPAP), this device remains the best solution for people who suffer from this disorder. For the best results, an adaptive servo-ventilation machine (VPAP) will adapt itself to the breathing of the patient during the night. It is the solution that is the most recommended to treat this disorder.

The principal signs of mixed sleep apnea that can be observed by others are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during the night
  • Choking and snorting sound

Symptoms that can be identified by the patient:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Loss of concentration and difficulty focussing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Morning headaches
  • Feeling tired during the day

In any case, a sleep study by a healthcare professional will be required to identify the condition properly. The effects of apnea during sleep on a person can have consequences such as the development of cardiovascular diseases and, at worst, sudden death.

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