Cheyne-Stokes & Sleep Apnea: What’s The Connection

Cheyne-Stokes respiration and sleep apnea are two distinct but related conditions that can occur during sleep. Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR) is a pattern of breathing characterized by alternating periods of deep, rapid breathing followed by periods of shallow, slow breathing or temporary breathing cessation. It is often seen in people with heart failure or other conditions that affect the cardiovascular system.

Sleep apnea, on the other hand, is a sleep disorder in which a person experiences repeated episodes of breathing cessation during sleep. It is often caused by an obstruction in the airway, which can result in snoring and disrupted sleep.

Although Cheyne-Stokes respiration and sleep apnea have different underlying causes, they can be related. In fact, Cheyne-Stokes respiration can be a type of central sleep apnea, which means that the breathing cessation is caused by a failure of the brain to send the appropriate signals to the muscles involved in breathing.

In addition, people with heart failure, who are at risk of Cheyne-Stokes respiration, are also more likely to experience obstructive sleep apnea due to the accumulation of fluid in the lungs and airways. The two conditions can occur together, and treatment for one may also improve the other.

Overall, while Cheyne-Stokes respiration and sleep apnea are distinct conditions, they can be related and may require similar treatment approaches. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional if you are experiencing symptoms of either condition, such as snoring, gasping for air during sleep, or daytime fatigue.

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