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Can CPAP treatment itself make you feel ill?

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Freya +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

I often have symptoms which previously I would have attributed to non-controlled sleep apnoea, but over the years I've been using CPAP therapy - and where the sleep apnoea is well-controlled - I can still feel "uncomfortable" in my nose, throat, and sometimes head. Does anyone else feel that perhaps the constant blasting of air into one's nose and trachea might be having a detrimental effect?

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Sierra +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Innovater

I think there is a bit of a misconception about CPAP's "blasting" air into the lungs. The amount of air one needs is basically determined by the amount of oxygen one needs. The required oxygen does not increase due to using a CPAP, and compared to during the day we use less oxygen at night. It is also frequently said that when a CPAP or BiPap uses a higher pressure that it is harder on the nose and the throat. Actually it is the reverse. Because the oxygen requirement does not increase but the pressure does increase, the volume of air required actually decreases. So the air flow velocity actually goes down with a CPAP, and the higher the pressure, the more it goes down.

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Freya +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

That's really interesting, and counter-intuitive! Thank you.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Commentator

You lost me on a corner back there Sierra.

Maybe I need to get more sleep.

Or better sleep.

In my world there is no question that CPAP causes considerable inconvenience and discomfort.

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Sierra +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Innovater

A CPAP makes the air more dense, so it contains more oxygen per unit of volume. The volume flow goes down as does the air velocity. No more complicated than that.

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AchillesHeel +0 points · about 2 months ago

I agree with you Freya. It feels very unnatural and unhealthy to have air forced into your nasal cavities. I've found a chin strap that actually works is the solution for me.

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