Most people associated nebulizers with conditions like asthma. But in fact, nebulizers can be used as part of a treatment plan for a wide range of health conditions, including sleep apnea.
Many patients with sleep apnea are prescribed CPAP therapy to help alleviate their condition and assure they get adequate oxygen throughout the night. However, in addition to this therapy, most doctors look for ways to alleviate any underlying conditions which may be contributing to the sleep apnea in their patient. This may involve certain lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol before bed, losing weight or quitting smoking, for example. These actions can help to reduce high blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, all of which may contribute to sleep apnea.
When it comes to other contributing health conditions, medications can be helpful as well. Nebulizers may be used as part of a sleep apnea treatment plan when the patient is suffering from certain respiratory disorder, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis or asthma. The nebulizer delivers medication in mist form so that it can be inhaled directly into the lungs. When including this step before using a CPAP machine, the patient may be able to breathe better throughout the night and feel more comfortable using their CPAP therapy.
Nebulizers don’t replace CPAP machines, but they can help make the treatment more effective. It’s another way to make breathing easier for someone who has trouble with it while sleeping. If you think a nebulizer may help to improve your sleep apnea, talk to your doctor to find out if it’s an option he or she recommends for you. Some doctors may use nebulizers as part of a sleep study to help determine the proper course of treatment for your sleep apnea.