Do CPAP Machines Really Cure Sleep Apnea?
First of all you have to understand what a Sleep Disorder is as a medical condition.
Over 30 million people in the United States alone have some sort of Sleep Disorder or Sleep Apnea. Millions of people have trouble with their wind pipes actually closing up when they sleep at night. This comes from the muscles in the throat partially constricting or completely closing up.
Studies show there are several different types, but the two more common forms are known as Obstructive and Central. These two common forms have different problems associated with each condition.
“Obstructive Sleep Apnea” deals with a physical obstruction which prevents natural breathing, usually this is caused by involuntary relaxation of the throat muscles. It can also be caused by another physical obstruction such as large tonsils, or enlarged Adenoids due to an infection. “Central Sleep Apnea” is when the respiratory center of the brain fails to send out correct signals which control breathing.
It’s quite possible that people can have both “Obstructive and Central” disorders, this is known as “Complex Sleep Apnea” and should be tested immediately from a Doctor, as this can be a serious condition. When a person stops breathing or has (apnea), it causes the blood oxygen levels to drop slowly until it gets low enough to wake the person up until he or she will start breathing again. For men over 65 years of age, Apnea is more common, especially if you have heart disease, atrial fibrillation, or suffered from stroke.
In moderate and heavy “Apnea” sufferers, these episodes can happen hundreds of times throughout the night and in many cases the person will never wake up completely or even know this is happening. Only their partner may see it or recognize its happening.
Common Symptoms Include:
You may feel overly tired in the mornings like you’ve never had a deep night sleep. Or, sometimes it may be your partner who notices you have erratic breathing or have stopped breathing and wake up gasping or choking. Other symptoms include unusual day time sleepiness, sore throat, dry mouth, and an inability to stay sleeping throughout the night coupled with loud snoring and tossing and turning.
Serious Associated Risks
Apnea can be hereditary by nature and can be passed on through genes. Although more commonly seen in men, it effects millions of women as well. Both children and adults suffer from it, but it is more prevalent as a person gets older. Obesity does play a role in sleep Apnea, however, thinner people also deal with the problem everyday. Smoking, alcohol, and sedative types of medications may contribute to the condition, as well as inherited physical traits like narrow airways, large tonsils and adenoids, or malformed palates.
Some Possible Complications
Sleep Apnea causes two types of complications. The first is the drop in blood oxygen levels when you stop breathing, it puts strain on the heart and vascular system, which causes hypertension and can lead to heart attack and stroke. If you have heart disease, untreated sleep apnea can cause a fatal cardiac event.
Another more obvious complication centers around the lack of sleep. Day time exhaustion and over all sleepiness can lead to symptoms like depression, anxiety, impotence, irritability which can all be side effects from a simple lack of sleep. In children, sleep apnea can be linked to behavioral problems, poor school performance and ADHD.
The good news is that Sleep Apnea is treatable. The most effective treatment is the use of a CPAP Machine or (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine which is used to maintain positive pressure in the airway and keep the airway from closing. It is prescribed by the doctor and the pressure is determined by a simple sleep study. When you use your CPAP Mask as directed, you finally experience that good sleep that you have been missing.