Posted by: Alan | 2009-03-24

Central Sleep Apnea

I have been diagnosed with Central sleep apnea at a sleep clinic, and now sleep with a bipap machine. Please can you explain how this bibap actually assists? I am told that I need to wake up to start breathing, yet the bipap tries to force higher pressured air into me when I stop breathing. Only if I still do not breathe, does it wake me up. This seems contradictory to me, if I have to wake up to start breathing.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Alan
One of the things that make sleep apnoea such a serious disease is the fact that you wake up hundreds of time during the night, sometimes without even knowing it, never getting a proper night's rest. This is often caused by flabby soft tissue in the throat area, that closes off the airway when you sleep and relax. The BiPAP machine delivers a constant stream of compressed air keeping the airway open under air pressure so that unobstructed breathing becomes possible, reducing and/or preventing apnea, so if the pressure is set right, you technically should not stop breathing at all while using the machine. BiPAP (Variable/Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) provides two levels of pressure: Inspiratory Positive Airway Pressure (IPAP) for inhalation and a lower Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP) for easier exhalation.
Have you tried it already?
Dr Bets

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