I am a newly diagnosed OSA sufferer
I am confused about something very basic
Is high pressure required if breathing is well restricted to the nasal path ?
I thought the problem of not breathing came from the upper mouth tissues and/or tongue falling to block air passage. This then deprives the body of oxygen.
A good friend and CPAP user is telling me all one needs to do is breath thru the nose with the help of the machine pressure.
But I thought the machine must have a pressure high enough to blast thru the blockages when they occur.
That would mean that the blockages can occur after the point where the nasal and mouth passages meet.
Is that true ?
What causes blockage at that point if it is past the mouth cavity ?
Think of it this way.
When you breathe through your nose, the air goes down the throat then into the lungs. You don't need to open your mouth to breathe.
The tongue and throat muscles are considered "voluntary" as in we control them. Just as we control our arm to raise our hand to scratch our ear. We don't think about how to do it, we just do. We know how to do it.
When we sleep, voluntary muscles relax. Our arms, our legs, our throats, etc. When an obstructive apnea event happens, the material in the throat (base of tongue, throat muscles, etc) relax to the point they can "flap in the breeze" of our breathing. That's a snore. In some people, those tissues further relax and block the airway. No air gets to the lungs. Not through the nose nor through the mouth. The brain kicks into gear to try and wake us up. As soon as we do, we tense up the throat and the airway opens.
What a CPAP does is it uses air pressure. With the mouth closed, the CPAP pushes enough air into our nose and down the throat to keep the throat open. It actually does not take much. A CPAP does not have enough force to blow up a balloon. The amount of pressure needed varies from person to person.
Some people breathe through their mouth when they sleep. For them, they have to either use a chin strap to keep the mouth closed or they use a mask that covers both the mouth and the nose.
There are oral masks that fit inside the mouth. But usually the nose has to be pinched closed or the air comes out the nose without doing much good in the throat.
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