In the modern conventional medical guidelines the “gold standard” treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. And it is erroneously called “treatment”, when in reality, it does not treat the condition at all. It is not a cure when you have to be on CPAP machine for life to not feel the effect of OSA – feeling tired upon waking, having difficulty to maintain concentration throughout the day because of poor quality sleep, etc.
The truth is that while using CPAP machines, OSA still exists.
In OSA the muscles in the back of the throat relax when sleeping, to the point where they can narrow or close the throat. This results in snoring, snorting, or making other noises during sleep. Naturally the loss of air can reduce blood oxygen level, leading the brain to send a signal to awake a person suffering from OSA.Whether or not they are aware of it, some people with OSA experience hundreds of episodes of stopped or interrupted breathing each night.
OSA leads to a few comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, poor muscle recovery after exercise,etc. The connection between OSA and diabetes is particularly interesting. There are certain pathways which help regulate blood glucose level when we breathe slowly through the nose. A lot of people with diabetes are mouth-breathers. But whether they developed that as a result of a highly inflammatory condition, which is diabetes, or the mouth breathing was a contributing factor to developing diabetes – hard to say.
What CPAP machines do:
- Dry up your airways, creating perfect ground for infection
- Promote mouth-breathing further, making you a life-long client of CPAP machine manufacturers
- Promoting anxiety (by not correcting mouth-breathing patterns)
- Disrupting the sleep of your loved ones who sleep next to you (even the users of CPAP equipment report that the noise is disruptive to their own sleep)
- They do give some oxygen to the brain, hence some people feel a bit more energy during the day if they use the equipment.
What CPAP machines do NOT do:
- Treat obstructive sleep apnoea
What are the options for OSA sufferers?
- Do breathing re-training. You must breathe through the nose at all times to have good health.
- Re-training facial muscles, the tongue to ensure you have lip closure, the tongue doesn’t fall back into the throat when you sleep.
- Lifestyle changes – quit alcohol, smoking (including vaping), find a diet that is good for your body and doesn’t create an inflammatory response.
- Say goodbye to extra adipose tissue – that definitely worsens OSA!
- Explore an underlying psychosomatic origin of the breathing issue you are experiencing.
- Sleep on your side.
- Oral appliances, custom-made for you to move the lower jaw forward.
- Explore Buteyko breathing technique and invest into the Functional Breathing Program!
- Start making small changes now – notice when your lips are apart, when you breathe through the mouth, start taping the mouth – it is cost-effective and brings results.
Nothing is a cure-all. It is often a combination of emotional underlying issues and lifestyle choices. As with any health challenge, it is not about finding a fix, it’s abour “fixing” your life, so that this challenge is not re-created any longer!