CPAP Therapy, Benefits - ResMed India

Continuous positive airway pressure(CPAP) device is a gold standard treatment for people who suffer from sleeping disorders, like snoring or OSA. It is one of the most commonly used treatment methods for OSA. In OSA a person experiences, shortness of breath several times while asleep, due to a blocked airway. OSA can disrupt sleep making it difficult for a person to get a complete sleep, making the person drowsy and anxious, after waking up and in long term if it is left untreated it could increase the risk for High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Stroke, Heart diseases and obesity. This is where CPAP comes into play.

How does CPAP device work?

 

CPAP device helps a person to have a more regulated breathing. A CPAP device increases the flow of air pressure in the throat, preventing the airway from collapsing when you breathe. A constant pressure is maintained while the machine gently blows the pressurized air through your airway.

 

The machine consists of 3 parts, that work in conjunction to perform.

  • The CPAP motor - Acts as a compressor to draw in the room temperature air and pressurize it, to gently deliver the right amount of air and thereby, clear the obstruction. 
  • CPAP hoses - Transfers the air from the motor, to the mask. 
  • CPAP masks - Available in different shapes and sizes, keeping in mind the comfort levels of different individuals.


Benefits of CPAP therapy

 

CPAP results in positive outcomes for most users. Some of these improvements in sleep include:

  • Breathing and snoring issues are eliminated
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Regular use of CPAP device results in reduced daytime drowsiness and tiredness, especially in mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.1
  • Improvement in health conditions like cardiovascular problems.
  • Regulates blood pressure both during daytime and night.
  • Increased attention, and better concentration during day.

Things to remember while using a CPAP machine

 

  • Mask size/style: CPAP masks are available in a wide range of sizes and style, depending on individual needs. Find the perfect fit and style for you, to feel comfortable. Some people might feel claustrophobic in masks that cover the full face, and thus may opt for nasal pillows, as they cover less of your face. Also, different styles may have different size charts, so it is always good to check the fitting, before buying the product.
  • Tolerance for forced air: Beginners may find difficulty in getting used to the forced air from a CPAP device. In such cases, it is advised to switch to the ‘ramp’ feature, as this setting has low pressure air to make you tolerant to the technique.
  • Stuffy nose: This can be due to a leaking or broken mask, so make sure you test your device properly.
  • Dry mouth: This is a result of breathing through your mouth which can worsen while using a CPAP machine. In such cases, a chin strap helps in keeping your mouth closed, and reduce leakage of air while you use a nasal mask.
  • A noisy CPAP machine: The newer CPAP machines are comparatively a lot less noisy. However, if you find the sound irritating, it can be due to a jammed filter. Always check that the filter is clean, and nothing is blocking the path of air in it, that might contribute to the sound.


Instructions for using a CPAP machine

Before you start using a CPAP device, it is good to know about the below mentioned instructions:

  • Follow the instructions that come with the user guide, to assemble the equipment. It is not advised to assemble the product without proper instructions.
  • Place the CPAP device on a sturdy surface and make sure that the air inlet in the room is not blocked.
  • Avoid placing the CPAP device near a heat source.
  • Wash your CPAP mask daily with warm water, to keep it germ-free.
  • Make sure to wash your face before putting on the mask, to get rid of excess facial oils and for proper fit.

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Sleep Revitalizes your Mind, Body, & Heart

The body goes under many transformations, while it is in the state of rest during sleep. There are many essential functions that take place in the body such as tissue repair, memory and energy restoration, release of essential hormones, muscle relaxation, and others. While you are asleep, the brain releases indispensable hormones that promote tissue growth. This process helps your body rejuvenate from the daily hustle bustle. Moreover, tissue growth aids in the recovery from wounds or cuts. Sunita Kumar, Co-Director, Centre for Sleep Disorders, Loyola University Medical Centre, aptly remarks that during sleep the body produces more white blood cells, to fight countless bacteria and viruses1. The heart rate also registers a dip during sleep, which according to Ms. Kumar, strengthens the heart as it is at rest with lowered activity. Moreover, a good night’s sleep also reduces the chances of getting afflicted with heart diseases.

Good Sleep = Sharp Memory

Sleep is a time, when becomes sharp and strong. Sleep quantity and quality play a fundamental role in determining what one remembers and what one doesnt. Therefore, development of long-term memory (LTM) from short-term memory (STM) happens during sleep.  Scientific researches state that the brain follows a different mechanism for storing memories through the hippocampus and neo-cortex areas. Hippocampus helps you to remember your life experiences (childhood memories), while the neo-cortex is responsible for remembering the concepts you learn (name of a color). Communications and sync between the two, helps in learning new data and updating old ones.

Sleep Steers Hormonal Hunger

Sleep not only affects your energy levels and mental functions, but also regulates your body weight. Improper sleep is related to the increasing cases of obesity, worldwide2. Many hormones which regulate the feeling of hunger (ghrelin) and signal the feeling of being full (leptin), are all influenced by the quality of your sleep.  Leptin: This is also known as satiety hormone, which is produced by the fat cells of the body. It prevents overeating by sending signals to the brain that the body does not require more food, as there is enough to fuel the body.  Ghrelin: This hunger hormone is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, which signifies the body that there is need for food. This hormone rises in the body, when you feel hungry and decreases when you have consumed some food.  Studies show that people who have disrupted patterns of sleep - have larger appetite, because of higher ghrelin secretion and lowered secretion of leptin. This imbalance in the secretion of these hormones is a result of improper sleep patterns3.

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Reference

1

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/discomfort-15/better-sleep/healing-power-sleep?page=2

2

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3619301/

3

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3619301/