If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may prescribe a CPAP machine to keep your airways open during the night. This disorder often leads you to snore so loudly during the night that you wake yourself or your partner up. What is happening is that your breathing actually stops multiple times during the night. You wake up suddenly, feeling shortness of breath, and have difficulty getting back to sleep. The next day, you wake up with a headache, dry mouth, or sore throat and throughout the day you have trouble staying awake and concentrating on what is being said.
Most people with sleep apnea suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) where the airways in the throat relax so much during sleep that they close. A less common form of sleep apnea is central apnea, where the brain's respiratory centers become imbalanced during sleep. Some people suffer from a combination for OSA and central.
Why CPAP Machines Are Helpful
CPAP machines are used for OSA where they have five major benefits:
- Keep the airways open.
- Eliminate snoring so it is not distracting to others.
- Improve the quality of your sleep and relieve other symptoms of sleep apnea such as extreme daytime tiredness.
- Decrease or prevent high blood pressure.
Continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP consists of a mask and a hose applied with constant and steady air pressure from a small machine. These machines can be lifesavers, but some users find that the masks are uncomfortable, don't like the forced air, feel claustrophobic and have a dry, stuffy nose as a result. For some allergy sufferers, the CPAP machine actually provokes allergies. Since most modern masks are silicone free or made of gel material, without latex, allergic reactions are not common. Finding the right mask, perhaps one made of cotton, can be helpful.
Sleep Apnea And Allergies
Since some of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea are similar to what those with allergies suffer, there have been many studies to see whether there is any relationship between sleep apnea and allergies. Many people with allergies suffer from sleep apnea, but sleeping problems during allergy season often involve breathing in airborne particles.
As the National Sleep Foundation points out, when people breathe in allergens such as dust mites, pollen, mold, or pet dander, a chemical is released that causes symptoms such as nasal congestion, watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose. These in turn can affect sleep. The chemicals involved in the body's allergy response rises and falls during sleep, which contributes to sleep disturbance. Nasal passages become blocked, while allergy sufferers also have stuffy noses, itching eyes, and headaches. Some allergy medications have the side effects of sleepiness. Before assuming you have sleep apnea, make sure to talk to your family and allergy doctors, and point out the sleep issues you have that could be linked to the allergies and not require CPAP treatment.
If your doctor decides that you have sleep apnea as well as allergies, there are many types of CPAP masks that can make wearing it less unpleasant. Most masks are adjustable and after some time and patience, you should find that wearing the mask results in better sleep.
Keep Your Air Quality Pure
Regardless of your diagnosis, reducing the concentration of airborne pollutants in the air in your home is a good idea. Make sure to change your furnace filter, air filter, whole house filters, and humidifier filters according to the manufacturer's schedule or about once a year. For a good source of filters, consider Air Filter Buy, an online supplier of all types of filters. We ship them when you need them, and reward your recurring orders with additional discounts. For information, check our website or call (855) FILTBUY.
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