Getting Used To Your Cpap Device
Ease into it. Start by using your CPAP device for short periods. Try wearing it for a half hour or an hour while sitting up in bed watching TV or reading a book. Once youve gotten used to that, try using it lying down or when napping.
Use the ramp setting. Most devices can be programmed to start slowly and gradually increase air pressure. The goal is to be asleep before the machine reaches your prescribed pressure setting. Most people find this makes falling asleep much easier and more comfortable.
Reset the machine if air flow wakes you. If a high-pressure stream of air wakes you up, turn the CPAP device on and off to restart the ramp setting.
Types Of Anxiety In People With Sleep Disorders
Many people ask themselves if there is any link between;sleep apnea and anxiety, for example:
- Is it possible for sleep apnea to cause depression and anxiety?
- I have suffered from generalized anxiety disorder for many years, and now I began to think that i have sleep apnea, because of the symptoms like:;feeling tired;during the day and canât concentrate properly as i canât sleep at night thinking and;worrying;about death. Is it my worry, or I have sleep apnea?
Anxiety is one of the most common;mental problem;associated with sleep disorders. Itâs not unusual that if you have anxiety disorder, you will also have sleep disturbances, like insomnia.
Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea Vs Sleep Apnea
PND is a symptom that can be caused by a number of different respiratory and circulatory conditions. Sleep apnea, most commonly obstructive sleep apnea, on the other hand, is a medical condition on its own. Sleep apnea can cause PND, but not vice versa.
People who have sleep apnea experience multiple episodes of slowed or stopped breathing during the night. Sometimes breathing is interrupted for long enough to cause PND and wake you up.
In obstructive sleep apnea, breathing slows or stops altogether because of a physical tissue obstruction to the upper airway. In central sleep apnea, breathing slows or stops altogether because the brain doesnt send the signals required to breathe properly.
Both types of sleep apnea can cause PND. However, not all cases of PND are caused by sleep apnea.
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What Is Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is a condition where your patient’s breathing effort stops during sleep. Central sleep apnea, or CSA for short, results when your patient’s brain isn’t sending the right signals to their muscles that control their breathing. CSA differs from obstructive sleep apnea , which occurs when the airway collapses and obstructs the upper airway. With CSA, which is less common than OSA, there is no effort to breathe even though the airway is open.
Medical conditions, such as stroke and heart failure, may lead to central sleep apnea. It can also occur due to sleeping at a high altitude. CSA treatment may include your patient using a PAP device that helps them breathe, or supplemental oxygen.
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Central sleep apnea in adults is made up of five primary categories. These include:
Other Positive Airway Pressure Breathing Devices
In addition to CPAP, there are other devices that a sleep specialist may recommend for sleep apnea treatment.
Expiratory positive airway pressure single-use devices fit over the nostrils to help keep the airway open and are smaller, less intrusive than CPAP machines. These may benefit people with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Bilevel positive airway pressure devices can be used for those who are unable to adapt to using CPAP, or for central sleep apnea sufferers who need assistance for a weak breathing pattern. This device automatically adjusts the pressure while youre sleeping, providing more pressure when you inhale, less when you exhale. Some BiPAP devices also automatically deliver a breath if the mask detects that you havent taken one for a certain number of seconds.
Adaptive servo-ventilation devices can be used for treating central sleep apnea as well as obstructive sleep apnea. The ASV device stores information about your normal breathing pattern and automatically uses airflow pressure to prevent pauses in your breathing while youre asleep.
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Treating Sleep Apnea To Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Talking to a doctor about sleep apnea is an important step that anyone can take to protect their heart health. If a person is diagnosed with sleep apnea, treatments are often effective. Treatment for sleep apnea depends on the type of sleep apnea detected and may include:
- Lifestyle changes: Doctors may begin by informing patients about lifestyle changes that may reduce the severity of this condition. Weight loss, exercise, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, and even changing your sleeping position may be helpful.
- Positive airway pressure devices: PAP devices pump air through the airway, preventing the upper airway from collapsing during sleep.
- Mouthpieces and oral appliances: Oral appliances reduce disordered breathing by changing the position of the jaw, tongue, or other part of the body thats constricting the airway.
- Mouth and throat exercises: Depending on the cause of a persons sleep apnea, special exercises of the mouth and throat may help tone these muscles, making them less likely to interfere with breathing during sleep.
- Surgery: Surgery for sleep apnea may involve changing parts of the body that cause airway constriction or implanting devices that causes tightening of the muscles around the airway.
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A Billion People Around The World Suffer From Mild
Apnoea puts strain on the heart, as it races to pump blood more quickly to compensate for the lack of oxygen. Fluctuating oxygen levels also cause plaque to build up in the arteries, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke. In the mid-1990s, the US National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research estimated that 38,000 Americans were dying every year of heart disease worsened by apnoea.
Theres also growing evidence that the condition affects glucose metabolism and promotes insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes and encourages weight gain.;
Then theres the exhaustion of never having a full nights sleep, which is associated with memory loss, anxiety and depression. Lack of sleep also causes inattention that can lead to traffic accidents. A 2015 study of drivers in Sweden found that those with sleep apnoea are 2.5 times more likely to have an accident than those without. It also fuels absenteeism, and people with apnoea are fired from their jobs more frequently than those without.
Sleep apnoea means you never get a good nights sleep, putting a strain on your body and mind
One study found that people with severe sleep apnoea were, all told, three times as likely to die during an 18-year period as those without.
So in early 2009, prompted by both exhaustion and the suggestion from my doctor, I made an appointment at a place called Northshore Sleep Medicine in Northbrook, Illinois.
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Tips To Improve Health And Comfort
Choose a CPAP device with a built-in humidifier. Most devices now include a built-in humidifier, which helps prevent the dryness and skin irritation that can sometimes occur.
If youre experiencing nasal congestion, you may prefer a full-face mask over a nasal or nasal pillow mask. Also be sure to keep your humidifier tank full, keep your tubing and mask clean, and make sure your filter is clean. Nasal sprays and antihistamines also help.
Keep your device clean. Its very important to clean your CPAP hose, nosepiece or mask, and humidifier tub regularly, as a dirty CPAP device can cause infections and even pneumonia. Your sleep doctor and device manufacturer will give you detailed cleaning instructions.
To ensure maximum comfort, ask your doctor about soft pads to reduce skin irritation, nasal pillows for nose discomfort, and chinstraps to keep your mouth closed and reduce throat irritation and dry mouth.
Mask the sound of the CPAP machine. Most new CPAP devices are quiet, but if the sound of your CPAP machine bothers you, try placing it beneath the bed and using a sound machine to muffle the noise.
How Being Overweight Leads To Shortness Of Breath
Now lets go into detail about how being overweight causes obesity hypoventilation syndrome and shortness of breath. Although researchers have described many complicated mechanisms of how being overweight leads to shortness of breath, it all comes down to a simple fact: extra fat prevents your lungs from expanding properly.
As you gain weight, fat begins to accumulate in your chest and your abdomen. The amount of fat continues to grow. It becomes more difficult for your lungs to expand fully when you breathe in. As a result, the lower portion of your lungs cannot open fully and they start to collapse.
In the beginning stages of shortness of breath from being overweight, the collapsing of the lungs may only happen at night. When you lie down, the excess fat in your chest compresses on your lungs and make it difficult for you to take deep breaths. Parts of your lungs start to collapse and you have problems getting enough air in and out of your lungs. As you continue to gain weight, you acquire even more fat. Eventually, portions of your lungs collapse permanently.
Later, more fat will deposit itself in your chest and your belly and make it difficult for your lungs to expand even when you are sitting up or standing. When you cant use significant portions of your lungs, you get shortness of breath from poor air exchange.
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Make Sure Your Mask Fits Correctly
When it comes to CPAP therapy, one size does not fit all. Its very important to get a mask that fits correctly and is comfortable for you.
There are many different types of masks available, including ones that cover the full face and ones that cover only the nose. Masks also come in a range of sizes, to accommodate different face shapes. There are also options that allow you to sleep in any position, accommodate glasses, and stay on if you toss and turn.
Be sure to discuss your options with your doctor and schedule follow-up appointments to check the fit, evaluate your treatment progress, and adjust or switch your mask if necessary.
Health Consequences Of Sleep Apnea
The chronic sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea can result in daytime sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and an increased risk of accidents and errors in your daily activities.
Sleep apnea also has a mental impact. It can trigger moodiness and irritability and cause anxiety and depression. It also increases your risk of other serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.
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What Are The Signs Of Sleep Apnea
There are two kinds of;sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when air cant flow into or out of the nose or mouth, although youre trying to breathe. Central sleep apnea happens when the brain fails to send the right signals to your muscles to make you start breathing.
Sleep apnea may be noticed more by the bed partner than by the sleeper, says Jun. Your bed partner might notice that your breathing pauses, or they may complain of your loud snoring.
That said, snoring itselfthough annoyingisnt the same as sleep apnea. Snoring is just the vibration sound created by airway resistance. You can snore loudly and not have sleep apnea, and you may even have sleep apnea without much snoring.
People with sleep apnea might also suffer from unexplained fatigue and mood swings, because their breathing interruptions continually wake them and prevent them from settling into a deep, nourishing sleep.
The consequences can be significant, Jun says. We’re talking about car accidents in the daytime, lost productivity at work, mood swings, waking up feeling groggy and falling asleep in class.
Other sufferers might wake up with a dry mouth, since sleep apnea tends to make you breathe with an open mouth, drying out your saliva. Some awaken with a headache, which may be caused by low oxygen or high carbon dioxide levels during sleep.
How is Weight Control Linked to Sleep Apnea?
What Are The Treatments For Sleep Apnea
Conservative treatments: In mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea, conservative therapy may be all that is needed.
- Overweight persons can benefit from losing weight. Even a 10% weight loss can reduce the number of apneic events for most patients. However, losing weight can be difficult to do with untreated obstructive sleep apnea due to increased appetite and metabolism changes that can happen with obstructive sleep apnea.
- Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea should avoid the use of alcohol and certain sleeping pills, which make the airway more likely to collapse during sleep and prolong the apneic periods.
- In some patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea, breathing pauses occur only when they sleep on their backs. In such cases, using a wedge pillow or other devices that help them sleep in a side position may help.
- People with sinus problems or nasal congestion should use nasal sprays or breathing strips to reduce snoring and improve airflow for more comfortable nighttime breathing. Avoiding sleep deprivation is important for all patients with sleep disorders.
Hypoglossal nerve stimulator: A stimulator is implanted under the skin on the right side of the chest with electrodes tunneled under the skin to the hypoglossal nerve in the neck and to intercostal muscles in the chest. The device is turned on at bedtime with a remote control. With each breath, the hypoglossal nerve is stimulated, the tongue moves forward out of the airway and the airway is opened.
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Sleep Apnea Obesity And Heart Disease
Research suggests that obesity may play an important role in the development of both sleep apnea and heart disease. It is important to keep in mind that sleep apnea alone, with or without obesity, can increase the risk for heart disease. Sleep apnea and obesity independently increase the risk of health conditions that negatively affect heart health, like hypertension , unhealthy cholesterol levels, and diabetes.
Obesity is a common cause of sleep apnea, often related to increased deposits of fat in the neck that narrow or block the upper airway during sleep. Researchers have found that even a 10% increase in body weight increases the risk of OSA by six-fold. While 60 to 90% of people with sleep apnea also have obesity, only around 30% of people diagnosed with obesity have sleep apnea.
Changes In Pressure Within The Chest
When a person with obstructive sleep apnea attempts to breathe, they inhale against a narrowed or closed upper airway. These unsuccessful, forced inhalations can cause substantial changes in pressure within the chest cavity. Over time, these repetitive changes in intrathoracic pressure can damage the heart. Intrathoracic pressure changes can lead to atrial fibrillation , problems with blood flow to the heart, and even heart failure.
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Chest Pain And Untreated Sleep Apnea
Untreated OSA is a risk factor for problems with the heart that can cause chest pain: coronary artery disease, chronic heart failure and atrial fibrillation.
Thus, it wouldnt be surprising if someone with bouts of nighttime chest pain is found to have both OSA and one of the three cardiac conditions mentioned above.
Though obesity is a major risk factor for OSA, its not the only risk factor. This is why thin people, including women, can have this often misdiagnosed condition.
For example, a naturally small airway, excess pharyngeal tissue and/or large tongue base can cause an obstruction during sleep, when these tissues are very relaxed, leading to apnea.
The episodes of ceased breathing overnight cause internal disruptions such as reduced blood oxygen and increased heart rate and blood pressure, but these would not cause chest pain.
Dr. Tavels medical research includes over 125 publications, editorials and book reviews in peer-reviewed national medical journals. He was formerly director of the cardiac rehabilitation program at St. Vincent Hospital in Indiana. mortontavel.com
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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Central Sleep Apnea Causes And Risk Factors
Like obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is more common in men and people over the age of 65. But unlike obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is often associated with serious illness, such as heart disease, stroke, neurological disease, or spinal or brainstem injury. Some people with obstructive sleep apnea can also develop central sleep apnea when theyre being treated with positive airway pressure devices.
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Heart Failure And Related Conditions
You may experience shortness of breath because your heart cant pump blood at a sustainable level. This is known as heart failure. You may develop this condition for many reasons. Risk factors include poor diet, diabetes, certain medications, smoking, and obesity.
One condition that can lead to a heart attack is coronary artery disease. You may experience shortness of breath from a heart attack as well as chest pain and tightness, sweating, nausea, and fatigue. You should seek medical care right away if you suspect youre having a heart attack.
Other conditions associated with heart failure include high blood pressure or if your heart experiences trauma, inflammation, or irregular heart rate.