What is Complex Sleep Apnea?
If you are interested in learning and understanding complex sleep apnea, then the following article should be of immense help to you. Sleep Apnea has always had two distinct apnea categories, obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea, however in recent times experts believe that there are a number of under-recognised class of patients who display symptoms of both the above-mentioned types of sleep apnea. These class of patients have not been able to get rid of their sleep apnea symptoms even after applying the common treatment techniques that are applied such as the continuous positive airway pressure machine. Hence experts believe that such patients fall under a new, third category known as Complex Sleep Apnea, which requires novel treatment techniques and therapies.
To understand complex sleep apnea better, lets quickly recap the causes of the other two types of sleep apnea. The most common, obstructive sleep apnea results in breathing difficulties due to physical causes of disruption in the air passage. On the other hand, central sleep apnea occurs due to certain abnormalities in that part of the nervous system that controls and regulates respiration. The third type, Complex sleep apnea is a combination of the other two categories, as it results in sleeping problems that occur due to both physical and neurological causes.
Symptoms of complex sleep apnea
It is rather interesting to understand how experts and researchers now strongly believe that this third category of complex sleep apnea exists, and how they came about this conclusion. Doctors have often, for years now, found that there are a number of patients who were believed to have obstructive sleep apnea, but who failed to recover completely even after the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine was used to improve the breathing. Doctors found that these patients still displayed moderate, and at times even severe, symptoms of sleep apnea even after using some of the best available techniques. In addition, often when such patients were put on the CPAP machines, they displayed signs and symptoms, which are usually associated with central sleep apnea patients. As a result it was evident that something was not quite right, and hence an attempt was made to study these patients and categorise them separately, which is now referred to as the complex sleep apnea category, so that they could receive appropriate treatment and care.
As a result a large-scale study was conducted on above 200 patients with sleep apnea, to study mainly the prevalence of the complex sleep apnea disorder. The experts undertaking the study determined if the patient suffered from complex sleep apnea if he/she no longer showed major signs of obstructive sleep apnea once the CPAP machine was used, but still showed some signs of central sleep apnea, or even a respiratory pattern commonly associated with sleep apnea, known as the Cheyne-Stokes respiratory pattern.
After conducting the study on the sample population over a month, the results indicated that about 84% of the patients had obstructive sleep apnea, 15% has complex sleep apnea, and the remaining had central sleep apnea.