Sleep apnea, which causes restless unsatisfying sleep, followed by less productive waking hours, is increasing dramatically. Obesity, smoking, and reactive airways in the body (i.e. airways that are already irritated by asthma, allergies, and environmental factors) are contributing factors.
For many, it can be hard to breathe at night when continuously waking up. A normal respiratory pattern is interrupted by the soft tissue of the airway, relaxing upon deepening levels of sleep and obstructing the airway passage. It leads to more strenuous chest movement as the lungs try to suck in air, but none will come until finally either a buildup of carbon dioxide occurs, or a fall in the blood oxygen level triggers a survival instinct arousal gasp. Either way, the person awakes, which is disconcerting for himself and for those sleeping nearby.
The situation is exacerbated by irritants in normal household air that further inflame and cause swelling of the already limited space in the airway passage. Many doctors recommend the use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices to help with sleep apnea. CPAP devices have very small filters in them that users may erroneously believe will eliminate irritants from the air they breathe. However, the effectiveness of in-line CPAP filters is limited; the resistance the filters add increases the work of breathing. An example of how this works is the use of high grade environmental masks for home sanding. They keep the sand out but make breathing much more difficult.
The most effective way to eliminate the irritants in the air is by cleansing the environment of the CPAP user. Remove the irritants from the air before a CPAP user inhales it. In many cases, a considerable amount of money has already been spent for the CPAP device, while it may not even be necessary if the air in the bedroom is sufficiently cleaned. At the very least, the person with sleep apnea may be able to use the device less when the air is cleaner. It is indisputably helpful to clean the air as much as possible for anyone with respiratory issues, but with sleep apnea, it is critical.
Sleep apnea can greatly affect one's lifestyle, and when present with other risk factors such as heart disease, can lead to dangerously low oxygen levels in the blood. This means that if you or a loved one has coronary heart disease, the oxygen supply to the heart is already compromised, so the need to provide air that has been cleansed of irritants is even more important. Air purifiers are designed to do just that: remove contaminants from your indoor air so that your environment is safer.