As a Respiratory Therapist, I provide care and treatment for patients suffering from breathing and cardiopulmonary difficulties. I deal with a lot of patients who suffer from both sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
If you or a loved one suffer from either condition, then treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) could reduce the risk of death, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
The study took place between 2007 and 2010 in which they took the data of 227 patients with both conditions, analyzed and discovered that those who used CPAP had a lower risk of death compared to those who didn’t use the therapy.
What shocked researchers most was that any level of CPAP use was associated with a reduced risk of death.
The leading cause of COPD is smoking. COPD is a progressive disease, which makes it difficult to breathe. It’s the third leading causes of death in the U.S., with almost 13 million Americans living with the disease, according to 2011 statistics.
Sleep apnea is a disease that also affects breathing. Sleep apnea results in a person’s airway collapsing or becoming blocked during their sleep, which can be extremely dangerous.
A CPAP machine keeps the airway open by streaming air through a mask that a person wears during sleep.
What is a CPAP Machine?
A CPAP machine utilizes a type of mild air pressure to keep your airways in an open state and performing. The most common application of the CPAP is for those who have sleep apnea. Pre-term infants with underdeveloped lungs also benefit from it
The CPAP machine comprises of a mask which is placed over your nose and mouth with straps to keep the mask in place and secure while in use. The mask is connected to the motor of the machine by a tube with the motor blowing a steady stream of air through the tube. The result is a mild air pressure that promotes your airways to expand enabling you to take in deeper breaths.
What a CPAP machine does is, not only help people with sleep apnea improve their quality of sleep, but also correct the symptom of very loud snoring, which a lot of loved ones who endure sleeping with a snorer sincerely appreciate. On top of that, it has also been shown to help decrease high blood pressure.
If you feel you may benefit from using a CPAP machine while you sleep, I recommend speaking to your doctor so you could get referred to a sleep clinic for further study into the severity of your sleep apnea.
“For people with sleep apnea and COPD, receiving CPAP could lower death risk,” Huffington Post web site; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/16/sleep-apnea-copd-cpap-treatment_n_3757326.html