Breathing issues can be scary, disruptive and costly. And the bad news is, if you’ve lived with one type of breathing disorder, you’re at risk for another.
A study at the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study found that those who had asthma were 11 percent more likely to develop sleep apnea at another point in their life. The longer participants had asthma, the higher their chances were of developing sleep apnea.
If you’ve been diagnosed with both conditions, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Those with severe cases of asthma will probably use a BiPAP machine, as opposed to a CPAP machine. During an asthma attacks, there is an issue of carbon dioxide retention. A CPAP machine stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure; the last thing you want when carbon dioxide is building up is to have something continuously pushing air back. Therefore, your doctor will likely recommend you use a BiPAP, or Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure Machine. However, those with mild asthma have reported that they can use a CPAP machine without any problems.
- Your doctor will also not likely recommend you use an AutoPAP machine either, as the higher pressure for these machines can put you at risk for an asthma attack. Further, an AuoPAP’s response to an asthma attack would be to elevate pressure; however, this is counter-productive when your breathing restriction is due to asthmatic swelling.
- If you do wake up and you’re having an asthma attack, immediately take off your CPAP mask or BiPAP mask. Reach for you inhaler or other device that you use during an attack.
- Make sure you set up your BiPAP machine or CPAP machine with accessories that will help you offset the chance of an asthma attack, such as hypoallergenic filters. Clean your BiPAP or CPAP supplies on a regular basis.
May is National Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month. If you are living with both sleep apnea and asthma, we can help. We carry a number of CPAP and BiPAP supplies in our online catalog, as well as devices to help you manage your asthma symptoms.