Many people with COPD also have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) for which they use a CPAP machine during the night. CPAP helps patients remain oxygenated by continuously pushing air into the lungs. CPAP uses positive pressure to keep the airways open.
A new study shows that unless you use your machine consistently, you are at a higher risk for a rapid return of your OSA and sleepiness within several days, as well as significant increases in heart rate and blood pressure, and a decrease in vascular function within 14 days. The results conclude that even a short break in CPAP has negative consequences on the cardiovascular system. This means that you must use your machine consistently, even when you are away from home on holiday.
For more information, read:
Kohler M, et al "The effects of CPAP therapy withdrawal in patients with obstructive sleep apnea: A randomized controlled trial" Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011; epub.