Can Humidifier help in sleep apnoea and snoring? Before we answer this question let us know some essential facts about sleep apnoea, how it is caused and what can actually help.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder where a person suffers from swallow breaths. This can be in the form of one or more pauses while breathing, at the time of sleeping.
In general, it is a chronic condition which disrupts the sleep and can happen more than 30 times in an hour. Time duration of the pauses in breathing can be of few seconds to few minutes.
As a result of this condition, the quality of sleep becomes poor which makes you feel tired all through the next day.
If left untreated it may also lead to problems such as excessive daytime sleepiness or chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Types of Sleep Apnea
- Sleep Apnea Causes and Symptoms
- Difference Between Sleep Apnea and Snoring
- How To Help Sleep Apnea Naturally without CPAP?
- Why Continuous Air Pressure is Required while Sleeping?
- How Humidifier And CPAP Machines For Sleep Apnea Help?
- How CPAP Machine with Humidifier Proves To Be A Better Option?
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are mainly three types of sleep apnea.
- The most common sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea
- Another sleep apnea which is less common than obstructive sleep apnea is central sleep apnea
- The last one is known as complex sleep apnea which is the combination of the previous two types
Sleep Apnea Causes and Symptoms
Sleep Apnea is basically a disorder which is caused due to the blocked nasal passage that reduces the air flow to the lungs. In some extreme cases the air passage gets blocked completely, not allowing air to enter or leave the lungs.
The sad part is that the disease often remains un-diagnosed because most prominent and common symptoms occur at the time when you are sleeping.
Major symptoms and signs of sleep apnea are chronic and loud snoring, long pauses in breathing, daytime sleepiness and gasping, snorting or choking during sleep.
Besides these major symptoms there are few more symptoms for sleep apnea. These include morning headaches, fitful or restless sleep, nighttime awakenings or insomnia, waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth, depression, irritability, moodiness, and forgetfulness.
The problem of sleep apnea and snoring is generally tackled by providing continuous positive air pressure or CPAP. The technique provides a continuous air to the lungs at positive pressure, thus enabling to sleep better.
Difference Between Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Sleep apnea and snoring, even though are sleeping disorders; both have their own symptoms and health impacts.
Sleep apnea is an extremely serious category of sleeping disorder that usually happens when a person’s breathing is interrupted while sleeping. People with untreated Sleep apnea cease breathing frequently during their sleep. The entire parts of the body including the brain may not get enough oxygen supply due to this which leads to Sleep apnea.
Snoring on the other hand is distinct from sleep apnea. When you sleep the muscles of throat lighten up, tongue falls backward and throat becomes narrow. As you breathe the walls of the throat commence to tremble generally when you breathe in and also to a lesser extent when you breathe out.
These vibrations direct to the characteristic sound of snoring. Narrower the airway becomes, greater the vibration will be and louder will be snoring.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. Several risk factors are there for sleep apnea which includes age, gender and physical factors. Nasal obstruction due various aspects may also lead to sleep apnea.
Aging, Functional and an anatomical abnormality which lead to relaxation of muscles may further leads to snoring. If left untreated sleep apnea results into a growing number of health problems including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure and diabetes.
Snoring on the other hand becomes only serious in its progressive stages.
How To Help Sleep Apnea Naturally without CPAP?
Using a CPAP machine is often recommended as one of the best treatment for sleep apnea.
However if you want to get the help naturally without using CPAP here are 6 best natural treatment and remedies for you.
- Maintain healthy weight; exercise and workout more to lose excess weight if required
- Avoid alcohol, smoking and sleeping pills, especially few hours before sleep
- Try to keep your nasal passage clear by treating cough and congestion on time
- Try changing the sleeping position; avoid back sleeping and try sleeping on your abdomen or side ways
- Try using snore guard or snoring strips if all the above natural methods fails; use it for time being and not for long
- Use humidifier for maintaining good humidity in your room, this also helps in keeping your nasal passage clear and moist
Why Continuous Air Pressure is Required while Sleeping?
Lungs operate on the principle of sucking and discharging the air. When the lungs are filled with air, the pressure there exceeds the pressure of the atmosphere. And to maintain pressure the exhalation process start.
When all the air is discharged from the lungs a partial vacuum is created there and air gets in again. In case any type of blockage present in the lungs (or in the air passage), the process gets affected and breathing becomes irregular. In such a case, building a positive pressure in the air that is entering the lungs becomes essential.
It is not only the positive pressure (that affects the breathing) causes Apnea. Researches showed that dry air can also be a other major reason for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and snoring.
If the air in the atmosphere is dry then it can become inflammatory for air passage and lungs. Thus keeping the air humid and clean is always recommended which helps you to relieve the problem fast.
How Humidifier And CPAP Machines For Sleep Apnea Help?
As sleep apnea can be caused due to various different reasons, different people may require different treatment options.
For patients suffering from sleep apnea, doctors usually prescribe using machines for easy breathing. These machines are mainly of two types:
- Bi-level positive airflow pressure machine or BiPAP machines
- Continuous positive airflow pressure machine or CPAP machines
These machines help by providing constant flow of air to moisten and open your breathing tracts for whole night.
A CPAP device generates fresh humid air which is passed on to the affected person’s air way through a tube that could be flexible hose connected to a mask.
Although CPAP offers optimum relief for sleep apnea patients, a BiPAP machine tends to be a better option for patients who cannot adapt to CPAP.
As mentioned above, dryness in air can be a major cause of sleep apnea. Thus installing a good quality humidifier, which is specially recommended for sleep apnea patients, can also prove useful for patients.
You can check best humidifier for snoring online to get one for you at an affordable price range.
How CPAP Machine with Humidifier Proves To Be A Better Option?
The air that is flowed out by CPAP is a dry air. CPAP machines are therefore sometimes complicated and risky to use for patients, as it can dry up the nasal tract of the patient. This may sometimes also lead to nose bleeds and sneezing while sleeping.
Alternately breathing good moist air eases lots of pressure from your nasal passage as the moisture that you are breathing acts as a soothing agent to release all the inflammation. Moistened air lets you breathe freely and as a result you will have a good night sleep.
By adding a humidifier to CPAP machine, moisture is added to the air which is flowed through nasal passage. As it increases the moisture content in the air that you are breathing, it removes all the dryness in the throat.CPAP machine with humidifier is thus a better option for solving all the issues related to sleep apnea and snoring.
There are different types of humidifiers which can be installed in these machines. Cold and hot humidifiers are the two varieties which can be added to a unit as per the need. Interchangeable humidifiers which can serve the purpose of both (hot and cold) can also be used.
Due to varied requirement of the users, there are different CPAP machines available in the market. Some of them come with pre-installed humidifiers, while some of them needs an additional humidifier to be installed.
Just search a bit online to get the best type of machine that may prove useful to you. If needed try to consult your health care provider who can recommend the best type for you.
Eliana is a nurse by profession who loves writing online, spending time with her family and caring for seniors. She has already worked as an associate editor on various mom, baby, home appliances, kitchen and healthy living blogs. In her spare time she also enjoys drawing, reading/writing kindle eBooks and improving her skills a bit.