How CPAP Helps Respiratory Issues and Sleep Apnea
We live in a fast-paced, stressful world. While stress is a significant risk factor for developing chronic disease, it’s always vital for people to help keep their immune system strong. Eating healthy and getting regular exercise play parts in supporting overall health and immune response. But it’s sleep that’s absolutely critical.
Millions of people of all ages suffer sleep apnea, even children!
Left untreated, the regular sleep disruptions associated with sleep apnea combined with low blood oxygen levels gradually weakens the function of the immune and respiratory systems.
A weakened immune system leaves you more vulnerable to germs and viruses that can make you sick –– whether it’s airborne, picked up from another person, a contaminated surface, or an improperly cleaned CPAP accessory. In the event of a severe cold, flu, bronchitis, or pneumonia, a weakened respiratory system can lead to higher risk for complications, and even death.
Fortunately, a sleep apnea diagnosis and appropriate treatment of sleep apnea through CPAP, Bi-PAP or other devices can help strengthen the immune system and provide support for effective respiratory function.
Staying compliant with the treatment prescribed by your doctor or sleep specialist can help keep airways open while you sleep, so you can breathe freely, and get better sleep. Better quality sleep means a healthier immune and respiratory system.
How Does CPAP Work For Respiratory Distress
The soft tissues inside your mouth and throat regularly expand and relax while you’re asleep. The problem? Often the first indication is snoring. When they’re relaxed, muscles can block the airway and prevent air from reaching your lungs, lowering your blood oxygen content - a key indicator of respiratory distress. This is often accompanied by loud snoring which in turn disrupts a partner’s sleep, and sometimes, the whole family’s! That’s sleep apnea.
Don’t let sleep disturbances with low blood oxygen compromise your immune system and your health. Over the long term, problems like sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and mood and memory problems. Sleep apnea can also leave you more susceptible to:
- Respiratory infections ( viral and bacterial)
- Infections in other parts of the body
CPAP therapy using a high quality CPAP device provides positive pressure ventilation as you sleep. The pressure helps keep airways open, so air can flow freely into your lungs and then out again.
Three CPAP Advantages in Respiratory Distress
Prevention: CPAP Supports Immune System Function
During this time of uncertainty, it’s vital for your immune system to stay strong. Unfortunately, for millions of people who suffer sleep apnea, the combination of regular sleep disturbances with low oxygen lowers the function of both the immune and respiratory systems, so you’re more vulnerable to developing infections or getting sick. Sleep apnea can leave you more susceptible to:
Respiratory infections ( viral and bacterial)
Infections in other parts of the body
CPAP FACTOR: Sleep apnea sufferers can help keep their immune systems functioning at an optimal level through nightly use of a good quality CPAP machine, mask, accessories, and the appropriate cleaning products.
Sleep Apnea is a Form of Respiratory Distress and CPAP is an Effective Treatment
25 million U.S. adults suffer from obstructive sleep apnea
By its nature, sleep apnea is a form of respiratory distress. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is its most common form. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause sleepers to snore loudly, stop breathing, and then wake up suddenly, gasping or choking for breath. This happens multiple times per night, causing fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels that weaken immune and respiratory function.
Once sleep apnea is diagnosed, your doctor or sleep specialist will write a prescription for a CPAP device. A CPAP machine provides positive pressure ventilation as you sleep, keeping airways open so air can flow freely into the lungs.
The faster you begin CPAP treatment, the better you’ll begin to feel by treating your sleep apnea.
CPAP Can Be Used for Children With Sleep Apnea
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, anywhere from 1 to 4 percent of US children have sleep apnea. Most fall between the ages of 2 and 8 years old. Common symptoms of sleep apnea in children include snoring, coughing or choking in their sleep, mouth breathing, night terrors, bedwetting, and more.
Get a CPAP Prescription
A CPAP prescription to treat obstructive sleep apnea can be obtained through your doctor or a licensed sleep therapist or sleep specialist. Your CPAP prescription tells you what you need to access for successful CPAP therapy. It will usually include:
- Recommended therapy pressure
- Type of device (CPAP, BiPAP, APAP, other)
- Mask type (full face, nasal, nasal pillow)
- Cleaning recommendations
- Replacement parts
How to Tell if Your CPAP Pressure Needs Adjusting
The recommended CPAP pressure levels are customized to fit your CPAP therapy needs, and they can change depending on circumstances. However, the most important thing is your comfort - we want you to keep compliant with your CPAP treatment plan.
The average pressure levels for effectively treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea will range from 6 to 15 cm/H2O. If higher pressures are required, the use of a well-fitted high-pressure CPAP mask would be indicated.
The CPAP pressure that’s most comfortable for you will vary. Pay close attention to how you feel, how you sleep, and whether you still feel tired even after sleeping. Consider keeping a CPAP journal to monitor your progress, quality of sleep, etc.
If you’re experiencing symptoms or other side effects, you may need to adjust the pressure.
Side Effects of the CPAP Pressure Set Too High
If your CPAP pressure is set too high or too low, you’ll likely be uncomfortable, which is the best indication your pressure needs to be adjusted for optimal results. If the CPAP pressure is set too high, you may experience side effects including discomfort, fatigue even after sleeping, or other symptoms. Pay close attention to how you feel during treatment, during the night, and the day after. If you’re experiencing symptoms or other side effects, you may need to adjust the pressure.