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CPAP for Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome?

Posted Mar 03 2009 4:14pm

I recently came across a post on a sleep apnea support forum where a member asked about upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) and how being on CPAP took care of a variety of his medical problems:

"So many things are better on the CPAP: 

My severe peripheral neuropathy of 5 years is almost gone. 
All the aches and pains are pretty much gone. 
My peripheral edema is gone. 
The age spots on my face are going away. 
I’m not huffing and puffing just doing simple things (like walking my son to his classroom.) 
My night sweats are gone. 
No more getting up to go to the bathroom at night. 
My heat intolerance is resolving -no longer sweat when I blow dry and curl my hair. 
I can exercise again and it’s enjoyable.  I no longer come home and go straight to bed. 
I don’t get so sore after exercise. 
My calf muscles are relaxing.  They used to just stay contracted all the time and I couldn’t get them to relax. 
My morning tremors are gone. 
Haven’t lost any weight, but dropped two pant sizes."

Fortunately, this person tolerated and responded very well to CPAP, whereas most people with UARS can’t stand having anything on their faces due to their hypersensitive nervous systems. Unfortunately, he was given CPAP by mistake before it was approved and the insurance company is refusing to pay for it anymore. Since his AHI was below the cut-off line of 5 for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (his was 1.9), officially he didn’t have sleep apnea. But he did stop breathing 8 times every hour on average. This is the dilemma with UARS.

My point here is that if the anatomic sleep-breathing problem is fixed definitively, regardless of the method (CPAP, dental devices or surgery), the patient will feel better. I describe a similar, very dramatic story about a young woman with even worse problems in my book, Sleep, Interrupted.

 

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