Sleep apnea patients know very well what a CPAP machine is because they depend on it. The device helps them breathe while they are sleeping, in case their respiratory system doesn’t function properly. However, there may be some risks that CPAP machines can’t fight against.
Statistics show that no less than 25 million people in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. The condition can manifest several times a night. While patients are sleeping, their throat muscles relax, which prevents air from passing through. CPAP machines are designed to help patients breath.
The CPAP abbreviation stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”. The machine has a mask that patients must put on their face before going to bed. The mask allows oxygen to get to them. Nevertheless, it is not comfortable at all to sleep with the oxygen mask on, and sometimes patients even give up the treatment.
Researchers have recently discovered another inconvenient with CPAP machines. They observed that the machines don’t prove themselves effective when it comes to people who already suffer from other diseases, such as heart disease, for instance. The new study showed that using the machine doesn’t prevent the risk of strokes and even death for the patients. As a result, they might sleep as well without the mask.
Two Australian institutes were in charge of the study. Researchers were surprised by the findings, as previous analyses didn’t predict such an outcome, but, what’s more, they even suggested that the CPAP machines are efficient. Craig S. Anderson (George Institute for Global Health, Sydney) is one of the leaders of the research.
The study involved more that 2,500 patients, all of them over 40 years of age, as sleep apnea is common in people aged more than 40. CPAP machines do improve life quality, reduces depression and anxiety in patients, but it doesn’t minimize the risk of heart attack in patients with cardiovascular disorders.
Symptoms of sleep apnea are vision problems, the fact that patients are tired during the day, the fact that they snore loudly while they sleep. Sleep apnea patients tend to have body weight problems as well. Also, if a member of the family had the disease, it is most likely that someone else in the family will inherit it.
The new study on CPAP machines was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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