sleep apnea

Sleep Disordered-breathing and Dementia

We have written articles before discussing the increased coincidence of untreated sleep apnea and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Now, in research out of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference we learn more about how untreated Sleep Apnea increases the symptoms of both dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.  You can find the full article by clicking this LINK.

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The research study has shown that sleep apnea, when left untreated increases the likelihood of a person developing mild to severe dementia.  If left untreated, the dementia progresses to Alzheimer’s Disease much more rapidly than when a person doesn’t have sleep apnea or when a person treats their sleep apnea.

Further, the research has gone so far as to state a likely mode of disease.  When a person suffers from sleep apnea, their brain doesn’t get enough rest for their body to rid their brains of beta-amyloid.  The beta-amyloid is a plaque buildup associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Beta-amyloid buildups are the characteristic trait of Alzheimer’s Disease patients. The Alzheimer’s Association Chief Scientist said, “sleep apnea actually accelerated the movement into mild cognitive impairment diagnosis for individuals who had been cognitively healthy just a few years prior.”  

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Overall, the article paints an unpleasant picture for individuals who suffer with undiagnosed and untreated sleep-disordered breathing.  Once dementia sets in, if left untreated, the plummet to full cognitive impairment can be swift and isn’t reversible.  So, if you or someone you know has or thinks they have sleep disordered breathing make sure they get tested soon!  If you or someone you know is prescribed CPAP therapy make sure they stick with their therapy regimen and hopefully they’ll avoid the negative side effects of cognitive impairment associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

 

 

Why is CPAP Heated Hydration Important?

To make this explanation very simple, let’s think of the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device as a box with a high-pressure fan inside.  The fan spins and pulls air from your bedroom into the box.  Once inside the box, the fan accelerates the air to cause pressure and this pressurized air exits the machine via the tube, through your mask and into your airway to keep it open while you sleep. The actual workings of this process are more complicated, but this is basically the process for how a CPAP device works.  

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Now that we understand how the CPAP machine is functioning, let’s look at the details.  The air pulled into your CPAP machine and pressurized is the same air that is circulating in your bedroom.  During the winter months, heating your house has a tendency to dry out air, in winter months air conditioners make it cold and dry. This air is entering your body through nasal passages and airways that are easily susceptible to being dried out by this air.  This drying of the airways is a main reason for many CPAP therapy related complaints:

·     My mouth is dry

·     My nose constantly runs

·     I’m congested

·     My device makes me sneeze

The simplest way to combat these common CPAP complaints is through use of heated hydration.  Heated CPAP hydration humidifies and heats the air in your device before it is forced into your airway.  You don’t want the air to be hot, but simply warm and humid. You will probably need to change the heat setting based on the time of year, so you keep a consistent temperature year-round.   Your heat setting, and respiration rate will be the main factor in how much hydration you use each night.  

The most common CPAP usage complaints are related to not using the proper CPAP heated hydration. Dry, cold air forced into the airway will dry out the nasal passages and airways.  This drying creates a cascade of events that cause many side effects like runny nose, mucus buildups, sneezing etc.  But heated hydration can fix these issues simply and effectively. Make sure you’re using your CPAP heated hydration to ensure the best CPAP experience.