Sleep Apnea Cures

The Benefits of a BiPAP Machine

by admin on February 16, 2012

If a BiPAP machine is the only thing you are interested in, then click HERE or click on this banner:

BiPAP machine

The BiPAP machine, which is a Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure machine, is a non-invasive way of delivering air into your airway. There are a significant amount of benefits to this type of machine as opposed to the older ventilation machines that were available prior to the 1980s when this style machine was developed. It is commonly used in sleep apnea patients.


Why do You Need a BiPAP Machine?

When you are looking at a BiPAP machine, it is probably because you have sleep apnea, which means that your breathing is stopping and starting at different intervals throughout the night. This can be a very serious condition if you don’t get it treated, which is why many doctors will recommend that you go on this machine to prevent the blockage in your airway.

Sleep apnea can cause you to stop breathing 5 to 50 times an hour. In many cases, a person can stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer each time. While the breathing typically starts up again, there have been instances where it doesn’t, which is why it’s critical to know the symptoms of sleep apnea and get in to see a medical provider immediately to start some form of treatment, whether it is breathing therapy treatments at night, surgery or something else.

The BiPAP machine, often called a sleep apnea machine, is non-invasive. What this means is that the mask will provide air into your nose, mouth or a combination of both without putting tubes into your body and down your throat. These new machines were developed in the 1980s as a better alternative to the ones that were considered invasive.

In addition to the Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure machine, there is also the CPAP machine, which is also very common for sleep apnea.


How is a BiPAP Machine Different from CPAP?

A BiPAP machine and a CPAP machine are very similar in a lot of ways. Both are as a result of doctor’s orders after seeking out a form of treatment that will prevent the airways from being blocked. Each of them are small units that run quietly in the background to produce enough air to keep the passages free throughout the night. They can be run electrically or powered by battery based upon travel needs and your preference.

With a BiPAP machine, you have the option of heated or non-heated humidifiers equipped inside of the machine as well. This is a secondary form of treatment that a doctor may use to help with breathing as well as to help clear out the nasal passage.

There are typically only two forms of masks used with this type of sleep apnea machine. This includes a nasal pillow mask as well as a full face mask. The nasal pillow mask doesn’t have a lot of facial contact ad is very lightweight. The full face mask will cover the nasal cavity and the mouth to offer dual entries for the air.

The Bi-Level aspect of the machine refers to the fact that the pressure will vary based upon a person’s sleeping patterns. When you sleep, your breathing will vary. The BiPAP machine does the same thing, giving you increased pressure and then decreased pressure so that you have to work less against the pressure to exhale. A CPAP sleep apnea machine, however, delivers continuous pressure throughout the night.

If a person is struggling with a CPAP machine, the doctor will typically then prescribe the BiPAP instead because it is non invasive still but it allows a person to get two levels of pressure delivered throughout the night. If you have respiratory or heart problems, this would be the machine that your doctor would have you go on since you don’t have to work as hard to get the air exhaled that is going into your system through the night.

BiPAP machine


Where to Buy a BiPAP Machine

When you are looking for a BiPAP machine, there are a number of places that you can shop for it. Your doctor may give you some recommendations, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the best system out there. You want to make sure that you get a quiet machine with a comfortable mask for a good price.

The first place to look is a medical supply store in your area. The benefit of this is that you get to see what the units look like and you don’t have to pay shipping and handling. The downside is that one may not be near you or if there is one, they may have a very limited selection on sleep apnea machines.

The other place to look is with online merchants. You can even find online retailers that specialize in these Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure machines so that you get the best selection possible for machines and masks.

Many of the retailers will also help you charge your purchase to insurance if you have it. This way you aren’t out of pocket for any money if you don’t have to be for your BiPAP machine.

Get More Information on a Sleep Apnea Machine

by admin on February 14, 2012

If you are just looking for a sleep apnea machine, then click HERE or click on the following banner:

Sleep Apnea Machine
A sleep apnea machine can be a very useful machine to help with your breathing throughout the night. If you find that you aren’t getting enough oxygen during the night, which is causing you to snore, wake up in the middle of the night or get headaches in the morning, you need to talk to your doctor and see if there is a solution out there – such as a sleep apnea machine. The results could mean getting a good night’s sleep once again.


What is a Sleep Apnea Machine?

A sleep apnea machine is commonly referred to as a CPAP machine. This is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine that will deliver the oxygen into your lungs so that you don’t have to worry about cessations in your breathing patterns throughout the night. As your air passages get blocked, this will ensure that you are still getting the air that you need to avoid a number of different medical conditions as a result of not enough air into your system.

The CPAP machine plugs into a wall socket or uses a battery so that there is power going to the machine all night long. As you sleep, the machine will run continuously. When you need one of these machines, it will typically be something that you use every night for the rest of your life, unless you are suddenly able to overcome your sleep apnea issues, such as through weight loss or other change in your lifestyle or possibly even surgery.

When you are looking for a treatment of sleep apnea, you will benefit significantly from one of these machines. A sleep apnea machine runs with tubing that then feeds into a mask that you will wear strapped to your face. The tubing will traditionally be long enough to run from the floor and up the side of the bed so that you can ensure that you are able to place the machine anywhere along the side of your bed and still get the mask to sit comfortably on your face.


Masks for a Sleep Apnea Machine

When you get a sleep apnea machine, your doctor will likely recommend the type of mask that is needed. This includes providing the air to you via your nose, mouth or both. This will determine what kind of mask you will buy. The machine will likely come with a very basic mask, but if you want to be comfortable, it will be wise for you to buy a more advanced one so that you can get a good night’s sleep.

Depending upon the sleep apnea treatment you need, you may need a nasal mask. This can be in a triangular shape to go over your nose or have nasal plugs that go up your nostrils. If you sleep on your side or are bothered by the plastic sitting on your face, you can also find nasal pillow masks that are more comfortable. Any of these will work when you need the air going into your nose, so it is a matter of preference on the style you buy.

There are also oral masks. This is a very simple tube that straps to your face so that you can get the oxygen you need. There is typically not a lot of material protruding outwards, which allows you to sleep on either side or on your back or stomach.

Another type of mask is where it will provide you air into your nose and mouth simultaneously. Three different sleep apnea masks provide you with the ability to get this type of treatment. Full face masks are a large triangle going over your nose and mask. Total face masks will cover your entire face like a shield. While not very attractive looking, it will take a lot of the pressure off of your cheeks, nose and mouth area so that you can sleep more comfortably. The other is a hybrid, which is the latest in technology. This is a very small piece that doesn’t cover much of your face at all. It can be used for nose, mouth, or both.

If you have to use a sleep apnea machine, you also have to use a mask. Which mask will be based upon your preferences so that you are able to get a good night’s sleep. Once you find the right sleep apnea masks, you can also look for different straps to offer more comfort. You may even wish to buy a CPAP pillow that is contoured to make room for the tubing and allow you to turn easily throughout the night.

Sleep Apnea Machine


Where to Buy a Sleep Apnea Machine

When it comes time to buying a sleep apnea machine, you want to make sure that you get the best possible machine because it will ultimately affect how you are able to sleep. You can choose electric or battery operated machines. Most of them are extremely quiet these days because of modern technology, too. What’s important is that you find a place that will provide you with the best machine.
If you have insurance, they will most likely cover the cost of the CPAP machine as well as the sleep apnea masks. This will allow you to get the best of the best on the market without spending any money out of your own pocket.

Most companies, even the online ones, will check your insurance for eligibility to see if your insurance will cover it and if you will owe anything towards the total purchase.
If you don’t have insurance, then you should check a medical supply store near you as well as two or three online. There are many internet merchants that specialize in nothing but sleep apnea products. This will allow you to find the largest variety and get the best prices. By doing some comparisons between stores, you can ensure that you are getting the lowest possible price.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important. No matter who pays for the sleep apnea machine, you should make sure that you are getting a good one.

Finding a Treatment of Sleep Apnea

by admin on February 13, 2012

Sleep apnea usually occurs because of a problem where there is an obstruction in the air passage way, which means that you need to find a treatment of sleep apnea sooner than later. In many cases, a doctor will ask you to spend a night or two in a sleep lab to see just how severe your problem is. This way he or she can determine the cause of the obstruction and decide where a lifestyle change is necessary or if a therapy or surgery would be better suited for you.

Learning about the different sleep apnea treatments will help you understand what your options are so that you can discuss them with your doctor.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea


Lifestyle Changes for a Treatment of Sleep Apnea

If you have a mild case of sleep apnea, there may be some basic things that you can do in your life that will help to clear the obstruction so that you don’t have to worry about breathing cessation while you sleep. If you cure the sleep apnea, you will also reduce or eliminate the snoring which will be good for you as well as anyone who can hear you in the middle of the night.

One of the most effective types of treatment of sleep apnea is to lose some weight. Shedding a few pounds can help you to clear up your throat so that there isn’t as much pressure weighing down your airway passages. Sleep apnea is very common in overweight people and you may be able to avoid some of the more invasive treatments by learning what your ideal weight is and getting on a weight loss program.

Some of the other lifestyle changes that you can make for sleep apnea treatments include focusing on some of your bad habits. Smoking and alcohol can cause you to develop sleep apnea. If this is the case, try to quit smoking. You should also focus on drinking in a moderate fashion if you drink at all. You should also avoid drinking a few hours before you go to bed.

A few other ways to eliminate the sleep apnea is to use a nasal decongestant. This can clear up your nasal cavity so that you can get enough air into your nose and thus into your lungs to prevent any shortage of breath. You should also try and avoid sleeping on your back. By switching to your side, you can prevent some of the tissue in your throat from flopping over. Adjusting or changing your pillow can make it more comfortable for you to sleep on your side as a treatment of sleep apnea.


Surgical Options for a Treatment of Sleep Apnea

When you are looking for a treatment of sleep apnea, it may involve surgery to correct a problem in the construction of your throat or nasal cavity. If there is a way for you to get the surgery to prevent the obstruction in your breathing, you don’t have to worry about any of the other types of treatment out there and you can get a good night’s sleep for the rest of your live.

One of the types of surgery for this is a removal of tissue at the back of your throat and the rear of your mouth. In some cases they will perform a tonsillectomy as well because it will ensure that there is nothing blocking your airways. This will also prevent you from snoring.

Depending upon what is causing the problem, there may be additional surgeries that may need to be performed for sleep apnea treatments. This could include jaw surgery where one of the parts of your jaw is moved forward to enlarge the area that is behind your tongue, which will reduce the likelihood of obstruction. There is also the possibility of creating an opening in your neck to help you breathe. This would remain covered during the day, but at night, you would open it to help with the breathing that is blocked when you lie horizontally.

There are a number of surgeries that could be performed based upon your needs through sleep apnea. There may be the need to put implants in your palate to help keep the airway open. There is also nasal surgery where polyps could be removed or your nasal septum could be straightened to prevent air from being obstructed there. The important thing is that the treatment of sleep apnea is found.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea


Therapies for Treatment of Sleep Apnea

The two most common forms of therapy for a treatment of sleep apnea include a CPAP machine or an oral mouthpiece. Your doctor will be able to determine which treatment is best suited for you based upon how severe your sleep apnea is.

The CPAP machine will provide you with continuous positive airflow so that you can get air pressure going in on a regular basis. This will prevent the obstruction and also prevent you from stopping breathing or becoming short of breath through the night. These sleep apnea treatments are very common and you have a wide variety of masks to choose from that will deliver the air by nose, mouth or a combination of nose and mouth.

If you don’t like the idea of a CPAP machine, there is also an oral device, which can either move your jaw into a different position or hold your tongue down so that it doesn’t block your airway. Should you choose this option, you need to visit a dentist or dental surgeon that is familiar with treatment of sleep apnea.

Different Masks for CPAP Machines

by admin on February 12, 2012

If you are only interested in masks for CPAP, then click HERE or click on the banner below:

Masks for CPAP

When you have a CPAP machine, you also need the masks for CPAP machines to help dispense the air into your lungs in the way that your doctor has recommended. As you start to shop for the different masks, you will realize that there are a lot more than you may have realized. By learning about the options, the accessories and where to get the best prices, you will be able to get just the right mask to use with your CPAP machine.


Choosing the Right Masks for CPAP

CPAP masks come in a lot of different styles. Some will go up your nose, others in your mouth and others will dispense the air through both so that you are covered either way. Rather than buying all of the masks and trying them out one at a time, talk to your doctor and see what he or she recommends for you based upon your particular sleep apnea condition. They will usually have an opinion on the matter that can save you a lot of money.
When you are looking for masks for CPAP machines, you may even be able to find a starter kit that will give you a few different components to try out which works best for you. This way if your doctor doesn’t have an actual opinion for you, you can determine which one is the right one for you based upon how you sleep at night. This means that based upon whether you sleep on your back, stomach or side, one may be better than another for you.

Most masks will work the same for a CPAP machine and a BiPAP machine. The good news for this is if you have a CPAP mask and then your doctor switches you over to a BiPAP machine, it will double as a BiPAP mask, too. This will save you a lot of money in the long run – especially if you just got a really comfortable mask after a long time of trial and error.

It’s important to understand all of the different types of masks for CPAP:

  • Nasal
  • Nasal pillow
  • Nasal prong
  • Full face/Total face
  • Hybrid
  • Oral

When you need to get the air into your lungs via your nose, you have three different options. The traditional nasal mask will provide you with a triangular shaped mask that goes over your nose so that you can get all of the air that you need. If you find this difficult to sleep with, particularly if you are a side sleeper, the nasal pillow is smaller and provides less facial cover-up. It also nestles into your pillow more effectively so that you can get enough sleep throughout the night. The nasal prong is another type of CPAP mask that will insert two prongs up into your nostrils to deliver the air.

The full face and total face models of CPAP masks are very similar to each other. Both of these will deliver the air to your mouth and nose, however the difference comes from the way that the mask sits over your nose and mouth. The full face mask is a large triangular plastic piece that goes over your nose and mouth to provide you with the oxygen you need. The total face mask looks more like a shield, covering your eyes and cheeks as well. This will take the pressure off of your cheeks and bridge of your nose and will ensure that it is seated well on your face so that it doesn’t move while you are sleeping.

The hybrid is fairly new because of the technologies. This will work as nasal, oral or a combination of the two. This straps to the face in a different fashion so that you don’t have anything resting on your cheeks or the bridge of your nose. While these can be a little more expensive, most people find them to be the most comfortable because of the shape that they are in.
The last type of masks for CPAP is the oral style. This is a piece that fits directly over the mouth, leaving the nose completely exposed to the regular air inside the room. This will deliver the air into the mouth so that you can get the necessary oxygen for your condition.


Getting a Good Fit with Masks for CPAP

There are a lot of different masks for CPAP but all of them can be a little difficult to stay on while you’re sleeping. If you roll around a lot in the middle of the night, you need to make sure that your mask is going to stay on sufficiently. Otherwise you’re getting a breathing treatment that isn’t actually curing your problem because it isn’t seated over your nose or mouth correctly. As a result, there are a number of different straps available to ensure that you get a good fit.

Chin straps for CPAP masks are very common. These can come in different widths and colors and will strap underneath your chin to help keep the mask in place. If you are worried about comfort, these are surprisingly comfortable to sleep in because they were designed to help you sleep. If the mask that you bought isn’t working for you, try a different strap and see if that will work.

Whether you have a CPAP or BiPAP mask, you need to make sure that you are getting the proper fit, which means that fashion isn’t really an option. While it’s true that none of the masks are very glamorous, you need to ensure that the mask isn’t moving around while you are sleeping. There are forehead straps as well as crisscross straps for the back of your head that will help to keep the mask on.

If you need the assistance to keep the mask on, then you need to look for it. There are even considerations with the straps that go around your head. Some of the straps will be cushioned at the ear and others have a slit for the ear so that you don’t have to worry about the strap covering your ear and preventing you from hearing things during the night. Your comfort means everything because it will help you to keep up your sleep apnea machine treatments night after night.

Masks for CPAP


Great Deals on Masks for CPAP

Masks for CPAP can cost a significant amount of money. Depending upon the brand and model that you eventually buy, you may be spending upwards of $100 and sometimes even more than that. In most cases, insurance isn’t going to cover the CPAP masks, which means that this is something that you are on your own for. The CPAP machine itself may be covered by insurance and it may or may not come with a mask. If it does come with a mask, it will be a very basic version and you will most likely want to upgrade it as soon as possible.

By shopping a few different stores, you can find some great deals on CPAP masks. Read reviews from the different stores and find out where people are making recommendations. If you do some comparison shopping, you can ensure that you are finding the cheapest place online for your masks for CPAP machines that will allow you to sleep comfortably.

CPAP humidifiers are part of the whole CPAP equipment package which has undergone constant adjustments to handle the problem of sleep apnea. The machine will keep a patient’s airway unblocked. This gives the patient a peaceful slumber. When the airway is clogged for even a few seconds this could cause snoring or sleep apnea.

Although common to lots of people, heavy snoring will become a tremendous problem as it advances in depth over a period of time. If eventually left unrestrained by a doctor or a specialist, the trouble can trigger plenty of complications, such as long-term disruptive sleep apnea.

Loud snoring may seem to be common and no huge problem but the answer why it happens to start with is due to the obstructing of air passages. As time passes if left untreated, the situation can result in persistent disruptive sleep apnea which is called a respiratory condition.

The CPAP humidifier is extremely important in order to keep the upper respiratory canal humid so that the affected person will not feel dry or so that the equipment will not give the affected person an arid mouth area. To hold it short, the humidifier’s purpose is to offer clean moisturized air which will also help a sleeping patient take pleasure in his slumber.

There’s two main forms of CPAP humidifiers, the initial is the passive humidifier which by design comes with the machine. This gadget enables air to be water-cooled before it actually reaches the mask. The cool environment of low temperature is an advantage to the machine. The actual cooling method works a lot more efficiently then. The sufferer will probably feel the outcomes of the diminished temperature.

The standalone kind of humidifiers demand a larger room to function and has a lengthier transition time with the oxygen provided. However this version is a lot more helpful with regards to productivity.

Whatever the type is being employed, the humidifiers are essential parts of the CPAP equipment. Bear in mind that the only real objective is to provide productive respiration to the patient as well as a sleeping pattern that continues to be faultless.

Dealing With Sleep Apnea

by anonymous user on January 24, 2011

When a person’s regular breathing cycle is interrupted various times during sleep is called sleep apnea. Interruptions can be as many as 30 time an hour and can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. With so many interruptions there is no way that you can go into a deep sleep which is completely necessary to have a full night’s rest. If you do not have a full night rest several days in a role do to sleep apnea, you will start to perform poorly at work and even make it hard to drive safely. Thankfully there are some remedies that can help you overcome sleep apnea disorder.

First, chances are that if there is extra pressure around your neck due to being over weight, you will have a harder time breathing. Using an extra pillow to elevate your head about five inches will alleviate the pressure around your neck and help you breath easier. Another  good way to help with the breathing would be to lose at least 10% of your body weight. By doing this you are also helping your overall heath which is like killing two birds with one stone.

Another remedy is to use CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway pressure). CPAP is a device that is very commonly used to treat moderate to severe sleep apnea. It is a small mask that goes over your nose while you sleep that sends pressurized air which pushes your tongue forward and opens your airway passage to help you breath during the night. Make adjustments and give yourself some time to get used to having a foreign object over your nose. It is important not to give up since this is a very good device for sleep apnea help.

Lastly, if you suffer from severe sleep apnea and CPAP has not improved your breathing, you may have to consider sleep apnea surgery. In a sleep apnea surgical procedure, your  airway passage will be enlarged by either taking out your tonsils or taking out any excess tissue that you might have in the back of your throat or even in your nose. Surgery could be a permanent solution, but no one is ever free from complications or infections that can happen with any surgery. It is important that you have exhausted all other alternative solution to alleviate sleep apnea before going to this last resort.

How CPAP Systems Work

by anonymous user on October 18, 2010

The shoe box sized CPAP breathing machine is the most preferred and successful treatment on the market today for OSA. Short for continuous positive airway pressure, a CPAP machine functions just like a inverted vacuum and blows a steady stream of air through a tube and through a mask that is attached on the person’s face. The therapy is supposed to force the individual’s throat to stay open when they sleep.

Sleep apnea is a dangerous disorder during which the sufferer actually stops breathing for a short time while they’re asleep. This results in them having to awaken to continue breating in and out. After that, they will fall back asleep and the unfortunate routine repeats itself throughout the entire night time. Most of the time the actual impacted individual actually has no idea this is occurring. They are nevertheless, very aware of how tired they feel during the day, because of not having enough sleep.

CPAP machines are medical devices and so are categorized that way. Every model has to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before it may be introduced for the open public. That means that the device has been sufficiently screened and determined safe to use. This also ensures that the equipment will perform as intended and be successful in fulfilling the customer’s needs.

The level of the specific air pressure is defined by doctor’s prescription and is established after a CPAP titration review. This overnight assessment is completed in a sleep center, where the individual will be hooked up to several monitoring gadgets in which the attendant can track the information to get a physician’s analysis later on. During the exercise, the attendant asks the individual to sleep in different postures to see if one worsens their apneas greater than some other. They will furthermore test different CPAP adjustments to determine which provides the most effective relief.

While there are only a small number of major CPAP machine producers, there are actually quite a few different types and capabilities to choose from. A few of the more popular perks include integrated humidifiers, battery pack back ups and pressure ramps. As these machines can be very costly to purchase outright, it’s fortuitous that they’re included by the majority of health insurance plans.

The medical treatment professional who sets you up with your device will likely provide you with coaching regarding how to treat and thoroughly clean the unit and the accompanying mask. Since you are breathing the air the machine emits it is important to keep it fresh. It is usually a pain to carry out the regular maintenance, nevertheless the discomfort acquired from trying to use a machine that isn’t operating as it should, makes the effort worth it.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

by anonymous user on August 26, 2010

It is possible to suffer from sleep apnea for a long time without even realizing it. This is because the symptoms aren’t readily identifiable without another person around while you sleep. Few people with sleep apnea are able to spot the most noticeable symptoms by themselves. For this reason, most people suffer from sleep disorders without getting it treated, despite the number of available treatments.

When sleep apnea goes too long without treatment, a person’s health will begin to deteriorate. This is because sleep is such an important part of our day. Without adequate sleep, the body’s immune system begins to function less efficiently. A person becomes lethargic and tired. Many life threatening problems like heart attacks and strokes become more likely. Luckily sleep apnea can be easily identified in someone else. If you know what to look for, you will be able to identify sleep apnea in your spouse or loved ones.

Signs to Watch Out For

Sleep apnea is usually discovered by accident. Here are the common indicators that someone you know suffers from this disorder.

1.  Snoring. Snoring is a prevalent condition among the public. However, nearly every person with sleep apnea is a regular snorer.  Snoring in addition with other symptoms is one of the best indicators of sleep apnea.

2. Breathing problems. Sleep apnea makes it difficult to breath during sleep. Sometimes breathing altogether stops for short spurts of time.  If your partner snores regularly but then stops breathing for ten or more seconds at a time, sleep apnea may be the problem.

3. Excessive daytime sleepiness, or EDS. EDS is characterized by sleepiness that persists throughout the day.  People with sleep apnea often suffer from sleepiness on a regular basis, and may find it difficult to stay awake while doing monotonous tasks. EDS is a potentially dangerous condition, especially while operating a motor vehicle.

4. Daytime fatigue. The low quality of sleep gained from those with sleep apnea can result in fatigue.  Often they will have trouble remembering  things and might not be able to concentrate on the task at hand.  It might also result in mood swings or anxiousness.

5. Depression. Sometimes depression and sleep apnea go hand in hand. It turns out that people suffering from sleep apnea are five times more likely to be depressed.

6. Headaches. Headaches are commonly experienced throughout the night and also in the morning upon waking. Roughly half of patients with sleep apnea report persistent headaches.

7. Additional symptoms. People suffering from sleep apnea often wake up wet with sweat. This is likely the result of the panic induced by not breathing for short periods of time. Sufferers might also have to urinate frequently throughout the night, and they often wake up with a dry or sore throat. Sometimes sexual dysfunction is a side effect.

Usually the more of these potential symptoms a person has, the more severe the case of sleep apnea. Sometimes a doctor can make a diagnosis based on reported symptoms and a look at the medical records. Other times it may be necessary to participate in a sleep study, which gives a doctor the required information to make an accurate diagnosis.

If you notice these symptoms in another person, then let them know it could be a result of sleep apnea. The sooner this sleep disorder is treated, the better.

Sleep Apnea Snoring in Men

by anonymous user on August 21, 2010

Sleep apnea, is a disorder that affects about 12 million Americans, is characterized by breath pauses during sleep, which may last for 20 to 30 seconds or more. You can however snore, but not have sleep apnea. It is not uncommon for sleep apnea sufferers to have up to 30 episodes of apnea an hour. Common symptoms include wakefulness, drowsiness, snorting, choking and snoring. It is common in men and older people, although women and children can also be diagnosed with it. Because of the nature of the condition, people with sleep apnea are normally not aware of their sleeping irregularities. In fact, it is said that 80 to 90% of people with sleep apnea are undiagnosed. Usually, it is their bed partners who notice their condition.

There are two common types of sleep apnea. The more common is called obstructive sleep apnea and involves a blocked airway. This blockage can result from over-relaxed throat muscles and tongue, obesity and facial and bone structure deformities. Once the airway is blocked, breathing stops and the person begins to gasp and snort. The oxygen level decreases, while carbon dioxide level increases. This then stimulates the brain to normalize the breathing process and prompts the person to wake up and to open the airway by adjusting the tongue and throat muscles. Normal breathing then ensues followed usually by loud snoring. The person, however, may neither remember being awake for a short time nor be aware of his gasps for air.

The other type is called central sleep apnea, which is caused by the brain’s delayed signals to the breathing muscles. It sounds scary, but breathing actually stops and oxygen levels begin to drop. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is less common. It is a central nervous system disorder and can result from an injury or disease that involves the brainstem. This can be in the form of stroke and brain tumor, among other things.

Though some people with central sleep apnea may not commonly snore, they may experience shortness of breath. Both types have different causes, but their effects are the same: low level of oxygen in the brain, poor sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and even depression. They can also contribute to high blood pressure and heart irregularities when the oxygen reaches a dangerously low level. However, sleep apnea can also be literally disturbing to the bed partner because of the loud snoring that can cause sleep deprivation.

This is one condition that the patient may not even be aware that they have it . However, if he suspects to having the condition, particularly if he shows the symptoms, he can opt to document his sleeping patterns. For instance, he can ask his bed partner to journal episodes of breath pauses, snoring, choking, or snorting. Or if he sleeps alone, he can videotape himself sleeping and observe any problems. These observations would help determine if seeing a doctor or a sleep specialist is necessary. Upon diagnosis, the sleep specialist would recommend treatments or surgery depending on the harshness of the condition. There are some simple lifestyle changes that can be employed to start to get over sleep apnea. Examples are avoidance of alcohol and tobacco, weight loss and having regular sleep hours. Regardless  of your symptoms or progress, you should always seek professional help with your sleep apnea snoring.

Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure

by anonymous user on July 27, 2010

BiPAP means Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure. It is a breathing apparatus that helps patients inhale more air into their lungs. Developed in the 1990s, it generated from the C-PAP, which means Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. In the 1980s, patients used C-PAPs to help combat breathing problems such as sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea is a problem in which a persons upper airway closes, causing breathing to cease randomly. Sleep apnea sufferers usually wake suddenly with a huge rousing snore. Their quality of sleep is poor and can lead to mental problems such as depression and lack of concentration. The physical wellness of the sufferer can also deteriorate.

With the development of BiPAP, air delivered into a Bipap mask can be set at one pressure for inhaling and another for exhaling. This makes the BiPAP mask much easier for users to adapt to and also allows neuromuscular disease sufferers to use the Bipap machine. Because of these dual settings, the BiPAP mask and Bipap machine allows people to get more air in and out of the lungs without the natural muscular effort needed to do so.

BiPAP has been found to be especially useful for patients with congestive heart failure and lung disorders, in particular those that result in above normal levels of carbon dioxide. In addition, patients for whom intubation is not possible can gain from the breathing help from BiPAP.

There are many tests a doctor can try to find out if a BiPAP would be beneficial if you are a sufferer of sleep apnea. One is a respiratory test, which involves breathing into a machine to measure your lung capacity. The Forced Vital Capacity test is another common test; it essentially tests how deep a breath you can take. Although, these tests will not reveal if you have sleep apnea, which is usually diagnosed with the help of sleep studies.

A BiPAP machine can cost between 2000 and 3000 US dollars (USD). The BiPAP machine, BiPAP mask and BiPAP accessories should be covered by medical insurance policy. It is also possible to buy your own BiPAP machine. If that’s not feasible, you also have the choice to lease a BiPAP from a respiratory care company through an agreement with which you end up owning the machine. Your doctor or neurologist should be your first point of contact if you think you may benefit from a BiPAP machine.