Saterdag, 30 Maart 2013

Doctor, I have to wear this CPAP for the rest of my life?

Yes, you may just have to wear that CPAP for the rest of your life. Those are harsh words to say and even more difficult to hear. The fact is the more mild sleep apnea and less pressure to open the airway, the more chances you have to get off of CPAP. It may take some lifestyle changes or even undergoing surgery-but it has been done. The problem is that not every one has slight sleep apnea. Assign we take high CPAP to keep open our airways.

Let me try to explain why everybody needs a different CPAP pressure to open the airway. Think of the Airways as a balloon. Some balloons are difficult to inflate and hurt her cheeks, others will be slightly easier to inflate. Of the Airways that are blocked may not even begin to swell until you reach higher pressure ranges. Your weight and severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are the two major factors that play a big part in how high pressure you may require for your CPAP machine. The pressure acts as a tutor or a cushion of air that keeps open what gravity is trying to close. Yes gravity plays a large role in obstructing the airway. That’s why the majority of OSA patients have learned to sleep on their side rather than their back. For this reason, some mild OSA patients can be treated with Positional Therapy. This position allows the Airways remain open until they lay on their backs. Most carry weight is difficult to maintain the airway from collapsing under its own weight because gravity is pulling down on it.

There are a number of reasons why you may have OSA. For example, when lying on your back, gravity will pull back the tongue and obstruct the airway. Another contributor to OSA is the excess weight of the stomach which pushes against the diaphragm. Once again can be relieved by lying on its side. Gravity now will prevent you from pulling your diaphragm. The stomach is located beside along with the language. Genetics also plays a role by the way that it has shaped jaw, airway dimensions, the size of your tonsils and adenoids. These are just some of the reasons why a patient will be predisposed to have OSA.

As you can see that may not always be only a factor causing sleep apnea. Weight reduction alone can only reduce the risk of OSA. Most people who have moderate to severe OSA more have a ongoing problem. That’s why the correction of a problem through surgery or weight loss can lower the pressure that you need, but it doesn’t always fix the whole problem all together. This is not to say that for most moderate to severe apnea patients lose weight won’t allow you to stop CPAP therapy. Can only get into the realm of ‘ meek ‘ which then can then be dealt with by alternative measures such as positional therapy, surgery or maybe even a dental appliance. Everyone has there own a combination of issues that would need to discuss with your doctor.

The first thing you need to do to feel better is to get the CPAP. Then when you feel better to try to exercise with a weight loss program, then go from there. There are a lucky few that everyone feels about being able to solve a problem and manage to reduce or eliminate their CPAP pressure. Unfortunately most people don’t fall into that category. My advice is that if you can fix something through surgery or weight loss, go back for a repeat sleep study to determine if you are really with out dares. You might think that you are healed only to find that you may still need CPAP therapy, but at a lower pressure.

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