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Presure Messing With Lungs?
Common sense would indicate that a medical therapy that is mature and has been around for over 30 years would find very early on, even before being released to the public, what the safe ranges of pressure would be. If pressure in this range was problematic, we would have found out by now, and you would be seeing class-action ads on CNN for it like you do for Mesothelioma/asbestos or surgical mesh issues. AFAIK, there are no instances of harm from xPAP, other than those who discover early on that it just isn't for them. About all it is ever contraindicated for is glaucoma, and even then it can be used if used carefully.

Everything has risk, but when something medical has risk of any potential significance it is monitored closely. XPAP usage is not monitored closely at all, and there are no legal disclaimers signed absolving anyone of potential harm, something usually presented to patients who get almost every other therapy, because the risk is so very low for xPAP. Doctors pay a lot for malpractice insurance, and we live in a litigious society where there are consequences for not doing the due diligence expected

And their contracts for that insurance compel that they act responsibly, or their coverage is invalidated, and they are on their own, and basically hosed, so they typically comply with that. Judges take grave indifference seriously in all professions. Just this week a CEO of a peanut company got a 28-year prison sentence for allowing listeria in his products, so no one would take the risk of prescribing you any sort of therapy that held potential risk for you without you signing off on their absolution, which indicates that there probably is none. BTW, that charge could have allowed him to serve 803 years, actually, so 28 years is him getting off easy. I never signed a thing, so I am confident that this therapy is considered exceptionally safe.

Whether my confidence is unfounded or not, it is very likely that the range ceiling of 20 cm is considered very safe, even for every single patient competently prescribed this therapy. Walking in the sun for 15 minutes likely has more health risk. Crossing a neighborhood side street has more risk. Taking a shower has more risk. The chance of you dropping the xPAP on your foot and breaking a toe holds more risk than breathing through the damned thing.

So, I wouldn't sweat it. The anxiety you create by worrying about it probably contains more health risk.
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Tyrone - walking in the sun for 16 minutes has a health risk - 15 minutes tops up your vit. D and is just short of dangerous for skin burns and cancers. So, 15 minutes =good, 16 =bad, at least if you live north of a certain parallel - people in the Sun Belt, that is another story. They tend to not be as short on vit. D as their northern neighbours.
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One centimetre of water, the pressure unit used in CPAP/APAP/BIPAP devices is about equal to one millibar of atmospheric pressure, that is one thousandth of the average air pressure at sea level. 20 cm pressure from your CPAP machine is therefore equivalent to a pressure rise of about two tenths of one percent of normal sea level ambient air pressure.

It's hard to see how 0.2% increase in air pressure is going to harm your lungs. Normal lungs can blow up a child's balloon and that is far more pressure than any CPAP machine puts out. Since I haven't heard of too many people rushing to hospital after blowing up a balloon I expect that your lungs are well adapted to handle far more pressure than your CPAP machine will ever put out.

A quick web search suggests that the human lungs output is as much as 200 c.m. or 10 times what your CPAP machine can do.

Ed Seedhouse

Part cow since February 2018.

Trust your mind less and your brain more.

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Tyrone and Ed,

It is possible for an impact injury (we fall or something falls on us, or we are in a car accident) to cause a small pop (hole) in one or both lungs. This will lead to pneumothorax (air in lung cavity) because the hole will tend to act as a one way valve.

When we inhale, the suction in our chest cavity pulls our lungs larger, so that air is drawn into our lungs. If there is a small hole in a lung, the suction of inhaling will draw some air into the chest cavity, where it tends to get trapped by the one way valve character of the hole.

The build up of pressure in the chest cavity presses on the lung, causing a collapsed lung. This is a very serious condition which can lead to a quick death, if untreated.

Some people have weak spots in the lungs which can spontaneously pop (during a cough or something) and cause "spontaneous pneumothorax".

A CPAP machine cannot cause spontaneous pneumothorax. But if a pneumothorax is happening, CPAP could make it very dangerously worse.

If one ever feels like they are severely unable breathe immediately after using CPAP, I think one should discontinue CPAP until pneumothorax is ruled out, by going to the hospital immediately.
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Yes I agree that CPAP pressures could cause problems for those with pneumothorax. I imagine it is pretty rare and I wasn't meaning to suggest that the OP shouldn't see a doctor about these symptoms.

If i recall rightly artificially creating a pneumothorax used to be done to threat tuberculosis back when I was young. Thank goodness we invented antibiotics!
Ed Seedhouse

Part cow since February 2018.

Trust your mind less and your brain more.

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From the OP's description, I could not see any form of a pneumothorax indicated, so I would discount that in this case. Pain, difficulty of inhalation and other symptoms were not presented in the OP's posting.

While it is true that PSP and SSPs could be worsened with use of CPAP, the effect would be mild, not least because the pressure involved in CPAP is nominal when it reaches the lungs - the primary effect is in the throat and lessens rapidly below the throat level. Certainly it is not enough to increase danger to someone with a PSP in any major way - the actual pressure of a normal inhalation is the same or greater. You are moving around 500ml of air at the top of every breath, so 20 cm more or less is not much of an issue - the idea is that at the bottom of the breath, when the air passage is emptied more or less, that the tissue in the throat does not collapse, so a constant minimum pressure is exerted in order to maintain that - in most cases it doesn't have to more an 20 cm of air of constant pressure. Not a lot, then, and not much of it goes down into the lungs at that point - upon inhalation, any additional pressure is simply mixed in with the normal intake of air and the result is not a significant increase in pressure once in the lungs. Certainly not enough to have a significant effect on pneumothorax or a weakened wall lining that could rupture to produce a PSP. However, since the air is a bit drier, and it is a bit more air than without unassisted respiration, it can irritate enough to give an asthma like feeling.

I would also note that had the OP a PSP or SSP he would feel it and would be pretty quickly seeing a doc, within a day or two at the max, maybe a day or so longer for a PSP (it has been known to be take that long before seeking help, but frankly you feel like were punched in the side and it hurts with every breath you take - you might suspect you had a bruised or broken rib rather than a lung puncture, so you won't ignore it for very long, and once your lips start turning blue (you get cyanotic after a while) either you or someone you know will definitely raise an alarm). The OP indicated none of this, but rather an asthmatic discomfort. I will go out on a limb and risk eating my words, but I will bet anything that no PSP or SSP will be found.
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Not enough pressure from cpap to blow up lungs or cause those sorts of issues.
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I used to smoke but I quit 20 years ago. Could cpap make lung damage from my smoking years worse or something?

I have Googled "cpap shortness of breath" and others have posted over the years about it.

I do not disagree with what everyone is posting.
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For your own piece of mind, why not see a good Pulmonologist. I know you live in Canada and it could take a while to see a good doctor, but you would feel better ruling out anything serious.

I think most of the information given here is sound and makes sense, but you know your body better than anyone.
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(09-24-2015, 03:41 PM)player Wrote: I used to smoke but I quit 20 years ago. Could cpap make lung damage from my smoking years worse or something?

I have Googled "cpap shortness of breath" and others have posted over the years about it.

I do not disagree with what everyone is posting.

There is very little possibility that CPAP could make any lung damage from smoking worse. Nor is it likely to make it any better. As I explained above, the pressure and movement of air from a CPAP simply does not have that much of an effect on the lungs - the primary effect is in the throat, acting like a splint to hold open collapsing soft tissue in the throat. If you are having breathing difficulties or discomfort for any reason, see a doctor.

I might point out that if you quite smoking 20 years ago, and you were under 50 at the time, there is every possibility, short of cancer or other permanent forms of damage, that much of the damage has been reversed by now. Until they reach a point of no return, the lungs, like the liver, are remarkably resilient and self healing. But only so far - at some point, there is too much gunk in there and the damage is too great to heal.

What is certain is that how you suspect CPAP to be hurting your lungs simply is not likely at all.
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