Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cpaps Airway Pressure Machines

Cpaps Airway Pressure Machines

Some people stop breathing momentarily when they sleep. This is called obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. People with sleep apnea have narrow throats. Their muscles relax during sleep narrowing the throat even more and causing loud snoring. Sometimes, though, the throat is completely blocked and air can’t reach the lungs.

The periods when they are not breathing are called apneas and can last up to ten seconds. Trying to breathe again, they often wake from their deep sleep. Thus, people with sleep apnea don’t sleep well at night and are drowsy all day. Interestingly, they usually do not remember their apneas from the night before. For this reason, relatives and partners are the first ones to recognize the symptoms.

Sleep apnea is common in obese persons and can cause some serious complications such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, arrhythmia, extreme drowsiness and even changes in personality. During apneas, the level of oxygen in the blood drops, which eventually may result in the right side of the heart failing.

Fortunately, sleep apnea can be treated. Doctors usually prescribe a mechanical device that makes breathing easier, such as positive airway pressure. CPAP involves using a mask over the nose, mouth (or both) during the night. A flow of pressurized air is blown through the mask to keep the lungs ventilated.
A related condition is called central sleep apnea. This type of apnea, however, is caused by a problem in the brain—and those who have it are gravely ill. Central sleep apnea occurs in people with brain lesions, or other conditions affecting the brainstem.
When the sleep apnea is not related to other diseases it is called idiopathic central sleep apnea. While people with other types of apnea may treat their related conditions to eliminate the apnea, those with idiopathic apnea must use the CPAP, every time they sleep.
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