Most sufferers of sleep apnea experience either obstructive sleep apnea, which is a physical blockage of the airway by tissue in the throat, or central sleep apnea, which is the failure of the brain to control even breathing, resulting in cycles of apneas and hyperpneas. When a patient suffers from both central and obstructive sleep apnea and exhibits symptoms of both, the patient is said to suffer from mixed sleep apnea. Mixed sleep apnea is a tricky form of sleep apnea that is quite difficult to amend with established forms of treatment.
Mixed sleep disease is usually diagnosed when the patient not only has physical blockage of the airway, but also experiences reduced or erratic brain activity in the area that controls breathing. This can cause treatments that are used to reduce one of the normal types of sleep apnea to be ineffective. Treating the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, for instance, may still result in the brain being unable to control breathing properly. The patient, while treated for obstructive sleep disease, is still suffering from central sleep apnea.
Another symptom that regularly shows up in those suffering from mixed sleep disorder is chronic heart failure. Patients who show symptoms of chronic heart failure may experience persistent coughing, a weaker heart rate, and tiredness and shortness of breath, adding to the symptoms of the sleep disorder. While heart failure is also a symptom of severe obstructive sleep disorder as well, it is a symptom that shows up in most cases of mixed sleep disorder. sleep health
Mixed sleep disorder can also be induced indirectly by use of opiates. Narcotics such as opiates are often responsible for reduced respiratory activity, therefore leading to cases of central sleep disorder. Those who use opiates are at a higher risk of suffering from mixed sleep disorder, especially if they already exhibit symptoms of obstructive sleep disorder. Once the brain’s activity lessens and the central sleep disorder begins to affect the patient, the obstructive sleep disorder may worsen and the patient may exhibit even stronger symptoms.
When a patient suffers from one form of sleep issue, the symptoms are usually amplified when the other form becomes present. Increased lethargy, deteriorating heart condition, and restless sleep all become much more pronounced. The patient’s airway is not only obstructed by tissue, but the brain fails to attempt to breathe when the obstruction occurs. When this occurs, increased stress is put on the patient, especially in the heart and brain. The added stress on the heart can cause increased heart failure, which can lead to worsening central sleep issue symptoms. The brain’s sleep cycle is also interrupted when the patient is awakened when the issue is not resolved. Because the brain cannot complete a normal sleep cycle, symptoms of sleep deprivation may begin to appear. Concentration may become harder and learning may become more difficult.
Those who suffer from mixed sleep issue suffer from the symptoms of both central and obstructive sleep issue. This can lead to many health problems when left untreated. Luckily, effective treatment of one form often lessens the symptoms of the other. Once the body is brought back into balance, the patient’s health will often begin to improve, and the symptoms of the apnea become less severe as the patient’s body heals from the damage caused by the mixed sleep issue.