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Stop Waking Up! (Part 2)
January 23, 2008
In the recent Diabetes Self-Management article “Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes: A Vicious Circle,” SA expert Ralph Pascualy, M.D. writes that treating SA can:
Treating SA also helps people lose weight and gain energy and reduces the risk of auto accidents (because you’re less sleepy). But how do you treat it?
If your SA is mild, self-care may be all you need. But if you still feel bad or snore loudly after self-management, you should ask your doctor about a CPAP.
The Magic Machine
Lyle D. Victor, M.D., writes that the pressure can be set to the user’s comfort level. Some machines have variable pressure settings so patients can “ramp up” to a level that stops SA but keeps them comfortable. These may be called “BiPAP” (for “bilevel”) or APAP (for “auto-adjustable”) positive airway pressure.
Complications of CPAP use can include nasal dryness and congestion, claustrophobia, and eye irritation. It’s important to try several masks to find the most comfortable fit. There are dozens of shapes and fits. (See more at www.cpap.com.)
Dr. Victor advises adding humidification to the air flow. The humidification helps the nose and throat irritation that can be CPAP’s main side effect. You may also need some emotional support as you get used to it.
Getting Used to It
Some people find that their chest feels sore in the morning at first. This is because of having more air in their lungs.
CPAP is not curative. It’s symptomatic relief. You may have to wear it for a long time, even for life. But thousands of people are finding it incredibly valuable. And as you get healthier and stronger, and perhaps lose some weight, you may be able to stop.
What have been your experiences with CPAP? What self-management measures have you tried, and how have they worked? How is it going for you? Let us know by commenting here.
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