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When they are lacking air can it cause them to lose control of their bladder?

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With my apnea diagnosed, I wear a CPAP mask and sleep much better. I get up to pee only once in the night. It took me one night to get used to the mask; I was that desperate to have the apnea go away!
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My husband has worn a CPAP for many years and never wet the bed. since a prostatectomy it is a different story but he wears Depends 24/7 so no problems there. He has had a lot of problems with poorly fitting masks. I do keep a water proof under sheet on the bed and sometimes there is a little leak.
As far as the original elder, with the weakening of all muscles due to age I think the added effort of taking that first breath after a pause due to the apnea could cause a leak. some people may only leak a little but others can't stop the stream once they have started. The bottom line is a medical evaluation and use protection. After that don't rush into treatment or surgery which may be more distressing and harmful to your elder than wearing a pair of pull ups at night.
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To: txcamper and connie61,

Your answer makes sense, txcamper. I also use the nasal pillows and have never had a mask that fits. For an older person starting out on a CPAP I would never recommend a mask. The nasal pillows are effective on a large cannula or minimal straps around the head area. I would consider the person's sleep habits seriously before selecting either method. If the person is very active during sleep, then the cannula would have a better chance of working over the nose pillows with straps. My mother is VERY active at times during her sleep and has never been able to keep the straps on. A good clue about this possibility is if the person has Restless Legs Syndrome. "Yes" for RLS means "no" to the nasal pillows with straps. Go with the cannula and nasal pillows. Any other sleep disturbances should be considered, also.

I regularly wake to go to the restroom with my CPAP on. If someone is up many times during the night because they can't sleep, no doubt they will detect a message to go to the bathroom and not pee in the bed. Getting better rest using a CPAP or BIPAP should still make it possible to detect a message to get up and go to the bathroom.

There's a definite relationship between muscle tone and losing urine at the wrong times. There are exercises like Kegels to strengthen these muscles. But is the person able to do them? I also agree with putting a waterproof pad under the person and pull-ups on the person for nighttime as needed.
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Colorsue, I went back and read my response just now, and I have got to say that maybe I didn't pee the bed because I was awake so much during the night! LOL I sleep so much better with the CPAP, but I will say that if I was already aged when I began using it, I would fight it to the death. The mask takes quite a bit of getting used to. I use the nasal pillows now and they're better, but still.....
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I think both answers have merit. Is this person sleeping without a CPAP or BIPAP? This can lead to exhaustion from not getting the oxygen needed during the sleeping hours. Exhaustion could lead to many daytime problems besides incontinence and possibly nighttime incontinence also. Imagine being so exhausted your body's message to urinate can't break through your sleepy state.
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Sure. Lack of oxygen causes the brain not to function properly and reduces the ability to recognize the "pee" urge. With sleep apnea, get properly diagnosed (with a sleep study overnight), wear a C-PAP and bedwetting should cease. Be sure to have a waterproof pad underneath the sheets just in case.
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I wouldn't think that would happen. I have sleep apnea and for years it was undiagnosed and untreated. I didn't wet the bed. However, in the case of your person, perhaps in the process of gasping for air, they might let loose. Consult the doctor. There may be some medication that would help the bladder. Is there a reason the apnea isn't being treated? You don't have any info in your profile regarding the age or (dis)abilities of your person. Can you place them in Depends at night or use a pad underneath them?

Many elderly have incontinence just due to the fact that the muscles lose their tone. Have you heard of stress incontinence? That is like when you sneeze or laugh, you pee just a little. Perhaps that is what you are dealing with.
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