How Does CPAP Therapy Work?

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy has been around since the 1980s, helping millions of americans suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.  Starting with work done by Dr. Colin Sullivan, CPAP treatment was founded on the idea that pushing air into the trachea would eliminate the instances of airway closure, or apneas, and provide an effective method of controlling OSA.  With the pioneering work of Dr. Sullivan, CPAP therapy grew into the leading treatment for OSA, now with a multitude of different manufacturing companies serving the wide range of clients.

Obstructive sleep apnea required a treatment to be able to keep the airway open in a way that was effective, but as minimally invasive as possible in order to allow patients to sleep soundly without interruption.  CPAP therapy filled this void and was able to provide a non invasive solution by pushing pressurized air to keep your airway open throughout the night.  This pressure is set by your doctor, and it changes depending on the severity of your OSA.  With more severe forms, greater air pressure is required to open up the airway.  Your CPAP machine uses electricity to pressurize your therapy, sending it from the machine, through your tubing, and into your mask for delivery.  

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to your CPAP therapy and its inner workings, but hopefully you now have a better idea of the basics. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has been on the rise in the last few years, now with over 200,000 new cases diagnosed every year.  But being as common as it is, many people suffering from sleep apnea don’t even realize they have it!  One of the most important early symptoms to look out for is excessive snoring while asleep.  Snoring could just be snoring of course, but OSA can cause this symptom due to the partial blockage of airflow through your windpipe, causing loud and persistent snoring that can disturb you and your partner.  Following this, if is very common to find yourself woken suddenly at night due to the instance of apneas, where you actually stop breathing due to airway blockage.  These instances could just feel like waking for whatever reason, or it could be more sudden where you find yourself gasping for air.  These are some of the earliest things to look out for in order to get yourself on the road to treatment.

If your OSA goes untreated for a more prolonged period of time, your symptoms could become much more serious.  Due to these mini waking periods, even if you get what felt like a full night sleep many sufferers find themselves exhausted throughout the day.  This can lead to irritability, mood swings, and a decrease in productivity, all of which can affect your relationships and job performance.  Waking, you could experience a sore throat, dryness of the mouth, or headaches, all of which can have you starting off the day on the wrong side of the bed.

Further down the line, sleep apnea has actually been linked to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease when it goes untreated.  If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, it is best to go see a doctor or get a sleep test done to avoid any further complications.  Treatments like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) have been shown as the most effective means of controlling your OSA and reducing the risk of severe symptoms down the line.

 

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what symptoms to look out for. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Will a Nasal or Nasal Pillow Mask Work Better?

When diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), many people can become overwhelmed at the number of choices they need to narrow down to effectively begin continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment.  One of the most important pieces of equipment you will need to choose is what type of CPAP mask would work best for you.  Your CPAP mask is the channel through which your pressurized therapy air is delivered into your airway, preventing apneas from occurring and keeping you breathing smoothly during the night.  There are many types of CPAP masks, but this post will focus on the nasal and nasal pillow masks.

Nasal
Nasal Mask

Both the nasal and nasal pillow CPAP masks deliver your therapy air through the nose exclusively.  These masks are ideal for people who breathe through their nose a majority of the time while sleeping.  However, even if you breathe through your mouth for a small portion of the time, these masks can be used in conjunction with a chin strap, an elastic strap that attaches to your mask and fits under your jaw to help keep your mouth closed.  Chin straps can be an important feature of these nasal oriented masks in order to ensure that your therapy is effective; if your mouth is open, the pressurized air can’t work to keep your airway open!

Nasal Pillow Mask
Nasal Pillow Mask

The differences between these masks are noticeable in their design.  Nasal masks are similar in design to a full face mask but smaller, with a triangle shape that covers the entire nose.  This can have a bulkier feel that some people find uncomfortable, however, it also provides a very stable seal that works well for people who move around a lot while sleeping.  Nasal pillow masks consist of a sleeker design, with two nasal pillows that insert into the nostril opening.  This is a more minimal design that only covers the bottom of the nose and the space between your nose and mouth.  The less intrusive design is ideal for those who stay relatively still while sleeping, as the smaller design can be more easily dislodged from tossing and turning.  Overall, this really comes down to personal comfort preference.  Both masks are completely functional at delivering your CPAP therapy, so whatever you find more comfortable should work perfectly!

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to the nasal masks, but hopefully you now have a better idea of if it will work for you. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

What is an Oral Appliance?

Some people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) decide to abstain from traditional continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment for a number of reasons.  Things like a mild form of OSA or extreme discomfort with traditional CPAP equipment can cause patients to opt for something different like an oral appliance.  Oral appliances are one of the newest treatment options approved by the FDA to treat mild to moderate OSA and many users find their less intrusive design ideal.

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Oral appliances are actually very similar in concept to a basic mouthguard.  They are inserted into the mouth but cover both the top and bottom teeth.  They treat OSA by adjusting the position of the jaw, jutting it forward slightly in order to prop open your airway, preventing airway closure in the process.  The oral appliance contains an adjustable setting that is set by your doctor to fit your jaw, and often it is recommended that you check this often to make sure it hasn’t shifted as this can cause unwanted issues.  

The advantages of using an oral appliance are many.  For one, they cost a fraction of the price of traditional CPAP machines which include numerous other parts that need to be replaced regularly.  They are also often the preferred method of treatment for those who suffer from mild OSA, as the oral appliance is less intrusive but is still able to prevent apneas.  Many users find oral appliances ideal for travel as well.  They are extremely compact, discreet, and don’t require any additional cords or parts to be functional.  These and other reasons may push you to try an oral appliance, but be sure to speak with your doctor to determine if your OSA can be effectively treated by one.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to the oral appliance, but hopefully you now have a better idea of if it will work for you. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Three Reasons to Use Your CPAP

Adjusting to your CPAP therapy can be difficult, but there are plenty of reasons why it should still be used.  Many new users find the transition into CPAP therapy uncomfortable, and therefore decide to stop using it thinking it isn’t really a big deal.  Unfortunately, not treating your sleep apnea can result in a variety of problems.  Here are a few great reasons why using your CPAP equipment nightly can benefit your health and mood:

Improve Your Overall Health

Of course, the number one reason to continue using your CPAP equipment is to treat your sleep apnea!  Preventing the instances of apneas while you sleep keeps you breathing steadily throughout the night, allowing you to rest more easily.  This results in a better night’s sleep and a better mood throughout the day, keeping you productive and happy.

Keep Better Relationships

Using your CPAP equipment regularly as advised by your doctor, you can improve your overall mood from someone who hates getting up in the morning to a person who can’t wait to see what the day brings.  This shift in attitude can greatly affect your relationship with your spouse, coworkers, and friends.  Not to mention, studies have shown that treating your sleep apnea can even help take care of issues with low libido!  Keep up with your therapy to keep up with your social life.  

Avoid Other OSA Related Health Issues

Sleep apnea has been linked to a number of other diseases.  Ailments like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure have all been suggested to occur at a higher instance in those who do not treat their sleep apnea.  Continuing with your treatment can help save you a ton of money in the long run by avoiding these unwanted health issues.  Keep up with your CPAP therapy and help decrease your chance of developing these related complications.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive outline of the benefits of CPAP therapy, but hopefully you now have a better idea of why you should keep it up. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

What are the Different Types of CPAP Machines?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

AirSense 10 CPAP Machine

CPAP machines are the most basic air pressure machine used to treat your sleep apnea.  Like all other machines this post will cover, this therapy works by delivering pressurized air through your airway in order to keep it open while you sleep.  This helps to eliminate the instances of apneas, where your airway closes and you actually stop breathing.  CPAP machines have one pressure setting, prescribed by your doctor, that the machine will run on throughout the night.

Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP)

Respironics PR System One BiPAP Machine

BiPAP machines are considered a step up from traditional CPAP machines.  They are able to toggle between two separate pressure settings in order to provide more comfort for the user.  Typically, these pressure settings are set to an inhalation pressure and an exhalation pressure, offering a higher and lower setting respectively.  Many users report that they are more comfortable with this type of machine because it offers an easier time exhaling, making them more comfortable.

Auto-adjusting CPAP (APAP)

dreamstationAPAP machines are the most sophisticated form of CPAP treatment and are often reserved for patients with severe sleep apnea.  Unlike CPAP and BiPAP machines, these machines are able to automatically register the amount of pressure needed to keep your airway open, even adjusting breath by breath if necessary.  Because of this ability, these machines are even capable of adjusting your pressure based on your sleeping position, any weight gain or loss, or things like alcohol consumption that could effect how you are breathing.  

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive outline of the different machines, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what might work best for you. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Is your Nightly Workout Affecting your Sleep?

Many people don’t like having to wake up earlier than they need to.  Between work, kids, and all of your other activities it can be difficult to fit in a good workout, which causes many people to have to squeeze one in before going to sleep.  Though it’s true that exercising during the day can help tire you out and allow rest to come more easily, it has often been thought that exercise before bed may make falling asleep more difficult.

Exercise has a number of effects on the body that alter your temporary chemistry and activity level.  Increases in certain hormones, blood circulation, and muscle use are all factors that are good for you in the long run and provide helpful benefits.  The increased heart rate and body temperature were once thought to cause too much excitement to allow sleep shortly after, but luckily a new study has helped to answer this age-old question.

It turns out that for most people, exercising late at night has little to no effect on their ability to fall asleep.  In fact, most studies show that any physical activity, no matter what time, actually helps you fall asleep more quickly and stay more soundly asleep since you’ve tired yourself out.  Some people, however, are more affected by the physical excitement that comes with exercise.  If you find you are someone who has a more difficult time falling asleep after exercise you may want to ensure it’s a few hours before your usual bedtime.  Exercise to help stay more soundly asleep is a great way to ensure wakefulness during the day.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better idea of how to stay as rested as possible. If you have individual concerns, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

What are Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea affects about 25 million adults in the US alone, and many of the symptoms are not as obvious as you would hope. Probably the most common symptom that most adults experience is fatigue and tiredness during the day.  This tiredness can cause irritability, headaches, and general fatigue that many people report having a negative impact on their job performance or personal relationships.  At night, sufferers of OSA often experience frequent waking, sore throat, extremely loud snoring, and even night sweats.  

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Because of some of these symptoms, it is often the case that your partner will notice these issues even before you do.  That means that if he or she is complaining about how loud you snore, you may want to take it more seriously than as if it were just an annoyance if you have been experiencing any other symptoms of OSA.  Continuous Positive Airway Pressure treatment (CPAP) has been shown to virtually eliminate many symptoms of OSA outside of the instances of apneas leaving you and your partner more refreshed during the day.

OSA in children can exhibit many of the same symptoms, but it can also manifest in different ways.  For example, drooling or choking during the night is more prevalent in childhood sleep apnea than adults.  Just like adults, however, your child may start feeling sluggish and even fall behind in school due to the restless night’s sleep he or she is experiencing.  It is important to talk to your doctor if you notice these symptoms in yourself, your partner, or your child, especially since some symptoms are obviously not specific to only OSA and there could be a different issue surfacing.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource of the symptoms of OSA, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what to look out for. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Why Should I Treat My Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious condition, even it it may not seem as threatening as some.  On the surface, sleep conditions are often seen as less serious issues, but obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to a number of health related issues that can be greatly helped by using CPAP therapy.

Many people think that the longer you stay awake, the more calories you burn, but in reality your sleep deprivation could be a factor in those extra few pounds.  A new study from the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center in Pittsburgh has suggested that a lack of sleep can offset hormone regulation, an instability that can increase weight retention.  Because hormones help regulate your appetite, energy level, and mood they can have huge effects on the body, so consider that next time you watch that extra hour of television.  

More current studies from the National Academy of Science elaborate even further.  Fewer hours of sleep leave the body wanting to compensate for the lost rest with greater food intake.  This calorie influx is the largest factor in unwanted weight, but the decreased energy level also leaves little left for exercise.  Don’t think extra hours of rest will shake off those unwanted pounds, but over time a healthy level of sleep can keep you slim.  Because weight can be an influencing factor on sleep apnea severity, be sure to stay well rested to keep your body in great shape.

There have also been numerous studies published revealing further evidence for a link between sleep apnea and heart related disease.  It turns out that the lack of oxygen caused by untreated obstructive sleep apnea can cause blunting of the neurons at the base of the brain that control heart rate.  This means those nerves have a slower reaction time and less control over your heartbeat or other related functions.  These slower reflexes can have a huge impact in causing conditions like irregular heartbeat and hypertension.

Because obstructive sleep apnea lowers blood oxygen concentration, these nerves can essentially begin to starve, causing their reaction times to lose their spunk.  The added restless time caused by OSA only heightens stress on the body and therefore the nerves.  By continuing your CPAP treatment, you can help minimize apnea episodes and therefore reduce the stress put on your neurons.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of the importance of CPAP therapy. If you have individual concerns about any link between OSA and other issues you may be having, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

How Can I Have a More Restful Night’s Sleep?

Many people transitioning into CPAP therapy find it difficult to adjust to.  If you’re feeling restless, however, it may have less to do with your CPAP equipment and more to do with your daily habits.  It could be due to a number of little things you do during the day that don’t have an effect until much later at night.  Below, we outline a number of these common problems.  You may find that following these simple tips could help your body know when it’s time to rest.

Shut off your electronics

It is recommended that you have no contact with your cellphones, laptops, tablets, or other electronics at least an hour before you plan on going to sleep.  Many doctors think that the bright screens are capable of heightening your brain activity, making it harder to adjust back to a relaxed state for sleep.  By holding off on your electronics, you could help train your brain to know when it’s time for bed.

Keep the room dark

This follows a similar concept as above; by keeping the room as dark as possible, you ensure that you have as few disruptions as possible.  This can allow your brain and body to relax and settle down, allowing sleep to come easier.  If you sleep during the light hours of the day, try products like blackout blinds to keep the sun out.

Take a nap

This tip may seem counterproductive, but not if it’s done in the right way.  Naps under 30 minutes can actually help you sleep better at night by preventing exhaustion.  Sleeping more than 30 minutes during the day, however, can cause you to wake during the deeper parts of your sleep cycle, causing you to wake feeling less well rested.  Many doctors also recommend you nap in a different area than where you sleep.  This recapitulates your body’s understanding that when you’re in your bed, it’s time to sleep.

CPAP therapy can make great strides towards your feelings of restfulness and alertness.  It does take time to transition, but the benefits greatly outweigh any initial discomfort.  If you’re following these above tips and still finding it difficult to fall asleep, talk with your doctor about other things you might consider.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of a few things you can do to improve your quality of rest. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.