Jefferson Health

Central Sleep Apnea

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Central sleep apnea is when you repeatedly stop breathing during sleep. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when there is a blockage in your airway, central sleep apnea is caused by your brain temporarily not sending signals to the muscles that control your breathing. It often occurs in people who have certain medical conditions such as severe obesity, brain injury following trauma and heart disease.

If you are experiencing shortness of breath that awakens you from sleep, difficulty staying asleep, excessive drowsiness during the day or pauses in your breathing during sleep, seek care at Jefferson. The Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center, accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, provides clinical, research and educational services for the diagnosis and treatment of nearly 100 sleep disorders, including central sleep apnea.

Our sleep medicine specialists will perform a physical exam and tests to diagnose your condition. Treatment options include using supplemental oxygen and various medications. Various forms of oxygen are available as well as different devices to deliver air to your lungs, such as CPAP and BiPAP masks.