The Complexities Of Complex Sleep Apnea

Have you ever heard of complex sleep apnea (CompSA)? Most people have never heard of this type of sleep apnea. It is the rarest form of the sleeping condition, which constitutes 0.4% of the condition’s cases. It is the most complicated to treat and the most deadly.


Complex sleep apnea by definition is the combination of central sleep apnea (Cheyne-Strokes Respiration) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). For people who have CompSA, their brains have imbalanced respiratory control and obstructed airways.

Individuals who have CompSA show symptoms of both OSA and central sleep apnea. In addition to the brain not having full control of breathing while sleeping, the individual displays symptoms like daytime sleepiness, snoring, and gasping during sleep.

Due to the dangers caused by both types of the sleeping condition, people suffering from CompSA are at more risk. Normal treatments are just non-effective.

Factors Behind CompSA

When OSA is left undetected or taken for granted the symptoms of the condition get much worse. This opens the doors to many complications that are behind the neurological imbalance that causes CompSA.

These are the factors behind CompSA:

  1. CO2 and acid-base malfunctions due to heart failure
  2. Increase of body mass
  3. Cardiovascular diseases
  4. Respiratory diseases
  5. Neurological dysfunctions

CompSA Treatment

Unlike OSA, wherein one type of treatment like the CPAP may suffice, CompSA requires a number of treatments and therapies.

These are the treatments and therapies that may be used:

1. Treatment Of Associated Health Problems

  • Treatment and medication for heart ailments and neuromuscular disorders will assist in treating CompSA.
  • Eliminating these health problems will prevent the development of other health risks as well.

2. Supplementary Oxygen

  • Receiving supplementary oxygen during sleep helps in CompSA treatment.
  • There are various forms or methods of applying this type of treatment.

3. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)

  • This device is used mainly to treat OSA symptoms
  • Other methods or alternatives to the CPAP may be used

4. BiPAP (Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure)

  • Increases air pressure upon inhalation
  • Decreases air pressure upon exhalation
  • This device assists the weak breathing patterns caused by central sleep apnea
  • Some devices deliver breaths if it detects you are experiencing an apnea or pause in breathing

5. ASV (Adaptive Servo Ventilation)

  • Stores data of the individual’s breathing pattern
  • Device uses air pressure to normalize breathing
  • Prevents apneas of pauses in breathing during sleep

The complexities of complex sleep apnea need more specific treatment methods, which treat both OSA and central sleep apnea symptoms. It may be difficult to undergo, but essential in averting the deadly complications.

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