The main symptoms of Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA) include an early morning headache, feeling tired during the day, difficulty processing new information, lack of concentration and a poor memory. If the apnoea consciously wakes the person, then he or she may feel short of breath at this time.
CSA seems to mostly affect the aging population, people who have some kind of brain trauma or underlying heart problem, when sleeping at altitude, or after taking drugs such as opiates, barbiturates or anaesthetics.
Because there is no mechanical problem with the airway, there have been few successful conventional treatments developed for Central Sleep Apnoea. Sometimes a breathing stimulant such as theophylline is taken, or supplementary carbon dioxide that is delivered by a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine can be administered.
However, many people have a mixture of CSA and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), and so they receive the OSA treatments.