You may probably have been told or noticed that you suddenly begin to choke at night( it means low oxygen) while you are sleeping.
These are unpleasant states that are hard to experience and even harder to detect.
Choking during sleep is a common symptom of the sleep disorder obstructive sleep apnea (OSAS).
OSA affects about 4 million adults in the USA and 87% of them are undiagnosed and therefore not treated.
Today Let’s Understand why low oxygen happens and how you can treat it.
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Table of Contents
Have you ever Experienced Sleep Apnea?
This is when the muscles of the larynx are too relaxed, they can block the airways. During sleep apnea, this can happen all the time, leading to low oxygen levels in the blood.
Then you wake up gasping for breath. During the night, this sometimes happens dozens or even hundreds of times, and the consequences of this for your health can be deplorable.
Statistics of Oxygen Level While Sleeping
Low oxygen level while sleeping is a fairly common condition.
Every third man over 60 years of age has low oxygen levels while sleeping.
Among patients whose hypertension is difficult to treat (especially nocturnal hypertension), the proportion of apics reaches 80%.
If you experience frequent choking while sleeping, it is highly likely that you have obstructive sleep apnea and a sleep diagnosis should be done as soon as possible to confirm.
More often than not, choking doesn’t wake a person up, and so they may not be aware of what’s going on until someone else tells them they were suffocating.
Studies have shown that it can take up to seven years before a person suffering from sleep apnea seeks treatment from a sleep doctor.
How to Increase Oxygen Levels While Sleeping?
If you are suffering from low oxygen in your sleep, the treatment will depend on the severity of your condition.
The first step you should take is to adjust your sleeping position at night so that you always lie on your side as this can help reduce your risk.
Positional therapy is used to treat people with low oxygen while sleeping, especially when they sleep on their back.
When they sleep on their side, their breathing normalizes.
For positional therapy, you will wear a special device on your back or waist. This way you will sleep on your side. Or you can try a small vibrating device on the back of your neck.
It won’t wake you up, but it will vibrate when you roll over onto your back, which will send a message to your body to prevent it from happening.
Many people need positional therapy in addition to other sleep apnea treatments.
You can also change your lifestyle by cutting down on alcohol, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet.
When needed, a nutrition and weight loss program can often be beneficial.
A healthier body is known to have a significant direct positive impact on sleep, sleep apnea, and many other health problems.
A direct link has been shown between being overweight and sleep apnea and the severity of snoring, so if you are overweight, you may find that weight loss improves your sleep apnea symptoms.
Does CPAP Raise Oxygen Levels?
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the treatment of choice for obstructive sleep apnea which helps to raise oxygen level.
CPAP is a mouth and nose mask. The air pressure is regulated in such a way that the power is sufficient.
The CPAP device includes an air pump that forces air into the tube and creates positive air pressure.
This airflow is brought up to the nose and then sent through the airways to the lungs. Due to the increased pressure with which air is supplied, the airways expand in the area behind the soft palate and behind the tongue.
Also, during CPAP therapy, the lateral dimensions of the nasopharyngeal lumen increase, and the lateral walls of the pharynx themselves become thinner (they are usually thickened in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, compared with the dimensions in people without OSAS).
Applying an adequate level of nasal CPAP pressure during sleep almost always resolves the problem of obstructive sleep apnea, hemoglobin oxygen saturation, frequent awakenings associated with respiratory distress and snoring.
This leads to adequate uninterrupted sleep and increased oxygen level.
CPAP prevents the airways from closing during use, but apnea episodes return when the device is turned off or used inappropriately.
Other types of devices are offered to patients who have difficulty using CPAP.
Read HERE about Bipap Machines.
Can You Get Too Much Oxygen From a CPAP Machine?
Before starting CPAP therapy, you need to contact a somnologist and undergo a special examination.
The specialist will establish the final diagnosis and determine the optimal therapeutic pressure for the patient, which should be sufficient to prevent the soft tissues of the pharynx from blocking the airways and causing respiratory arrest during sleep.
But if the air pressure is too high and there is too much oxygen, the patient sometimes feels severe discomfort, which not only disturbs sleep, but also prevents normal breathing.
This problem sometimes leads to refusal of treatment.
To select the therapeutic pressure, a patient with OSA undergoes a procedure for titrating the therapeutic air pressure.
This is a kind of testing, during which the device pumps air into the sleeper’s mask at different pressures – from lower to higher.
This continues until the number of breath stops is less than 5 per hour of sleep time.
Despite the benefits and safety, CPAP therapy is an intervention in the natural processes that occur in the body.
Therefore, it is so important to choose the lowest possible pressure at which the treatment of complicated snoring will be effective.
How to choose the right pressure in a CPAP Machine?
Many believe that the level of treatment pressure is directly affected by the severity of sleep apnea.
The greater the number of breath stops, the more force the apparatus must force air into the respiratory tract. But this opinion is wrong.
Why do I have low oxygen while sleeping?
It can provoke various factors or a combination of them, for example, the abnormal structure of the soft palate and palatine uvula, displacement of the lower jaw, weak tone of muscle structures, fat deposits at the level of the pharynx.
What’s the difference between CPAP and APAP Machine?
Unlike conventional CPAP, the airflow in the Auto CPAP machine is not constant.
When setting up the device, it is not a specific pressure level that is set, but a range – from an acceptable minimum to a possible maximum.
The device automatically adjusts to the needs of the sleeper in real time.