Reduce Inflammation by Treating Your Sleep Apnea With a CPAP Machine
While numerous studies have explored the connection between OSA and a host of life-threatening conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and metabolic syndrome, their connection to pro-inflammatory states is now being revealed. Researchers are now exploring if the use of a sleep apnea machine for the treatment of OSA will reduce inflammation in adults and children.
Systemic inflammation may occur because of repetitive drops in blood oxygen levels and/or sleep fragmentation from OSA. Systemic inflammation is the chronic biological response, or inflammation, of blood vessel tissues due to dangerous or foreign elements, such as pathogens or damaged cells.
As more studies are being conducted, research is showing that, in addition to oxidative stress that burdens the antioxidant systems, OSA patients are showing increased circulating levels of inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as cytokine levels. CRP is an acute-phase protein the liver produces during bacterial infections and inflammation.
A recent study pooling data from two dozen trials involving over 1,000 patients suggested that treating OSA in adults and children with a sleep apnea machine significantly reduces levels of two proteins associated with inflammation: tumor necrosis factor and CRP. Further research may show that the reduction in systemic inflammation may be the primary reason that the therapy lowers the risk of developing some of the long-term health risks associated with OSA.
In sleep apnea, the person’s breathing stops for 10 to 20 seconds. It could also get very shallow, resulting in decreased blood oxygen saturation. When the lungs do not receive enough air, blood oxygen levels drop. Rapid drops in blood oxygen levels (hypoxia or hypoxemia) during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system.
A sleep apnea machine and mask are the most effective treatment for OSA. It helps this condition by pumping a continuous flow of air into the airways via a CPAP mask. This keeps the airway open, which prevents or greatly reduces snoring and apneic events.
By utilizing CPAP therapy, thereby keeping inflammation under control, the OSA patient reduces oxidative stress. It also restores the body’s antioxidant defense while also neutralizing toxins. The improvements in vascular, metabolic, and respiratory functions work to increase blood flow and oxygen to the body and brain.
Even those without medical training understand that there is a deep link between all of the body’s systems. Continuing research will help scientists improve therapies to prevent and treat these conditions. So, children and adults can lead healthier, longer lives.
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