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Clearing the Way with CPAP Therapy

Mar 25, 2008
For those with respiratory ailments or chronic sleep disorders such as apnea, a CPAP machine can be the one thing that helps a person regain the health they have lost. Individuals with apnea are those who have a lapse in their breathing pattern for a period of ten seconds or longer during sleep. As it has been found, the inability to bring in the proper amount of oxygen during rest can result in fatigue and an array fatigue related health problems.

Those who find they are waking up several times a night will likely try other remedies to help them breathe better as they rest. This can be anything from sitting up while sleeping to applying nasal strips. However, this is often ineffective as narrowed or blocked airways in the back of the mouth or throat still restrict an adequate intake of oxygen.

Narrowed airways can be the result of many different things from defects in the formation of nasal passages to the pressure of excess weight from fatty tissues. Whatever the cause, it is imperative to find a way to get oxygen into the body. Sleep apnea has been known to lead to serious cardiac problems that have the potential to be fatal.

Without oxygen to cleanse the blood, dangerous clots are also more likely to form in the body, posing a risk for such things as stroke. With no way to be properly disposed, the body's waste products can store up in the blood and become toxic. This opens the door to other potential illnesses that destroy the liver or kidneys.

For individuals who find themselves on the edge of a dangerous condition, a CPAP machine can sometimes be the only thing that helps. When the bloodstream is riddled with too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen, trouble with memory, blood pressure and muscle spasms are likely to appear. This is because oxygen rich blood cannot reach the brain, heart or extremities.

Commonly, an otherwise healthy person will never even suspect that their health problems could be rooted in apnea. Even with a respiratory ailment, it can still take time to narrow symptoms down until apnea becomes a part of the equation. An individual can then expect to be referred to a doctor that specializes in sleep disorders.

The determination for whether or not a CPAP machine will be necessary typically comes after a patient completes a number of specially designed tests. These tests are performed by means of an overnight lab study where the patient's sleeping patterns can be monitored by a sleep technician. If it seems the tests show the apnea is between moderate and severe, a doctor can make recommendations for a patient's apnea therapy.

Because sleep apnea has the potential to be a lifelong problem, it is extremely important that a patient follow his or her therapy regimen consistently. Failure to do so can result in putting the one's health right back into further danger. Many times a patient can see a wonderful difference in their well being after just one night of apnea therapy.

One of the most common problems for those dealing with sleep apnea therapy is getting used to the treatment. Adjusting to using the machinery at night can understandably take some time. Many doctors are open to making a few adjustments to the therapy and will usually recommend cognitive behavior exercises when a patient can't seem to get used to their treatment.

Those fitted for CPAP use will need to become familiar with all the features and overall care. This ensures that they can get the best out of their sleep apnea therapy.
About the Author
Andy West is a freelance writer for http://www.CPAP-supply.com, which offers a wide variety of CPAP masks, CPAP machines and supplies.
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