Respiratory Therapist/Breathing


I am on a CPAP machine. I have recently lost weight, and with regular running, my cardio fitness is improving. I have noticed I sem to need more air pressure with my CPAP now-sometimes I take it off and am more comfortable, but my wife makes me put it back on as it stops my snoring. Has my improved fitness increased my lung capacity, therefore the need for more air and improved breathing?

Hi Bud,

Thanks for entrusting me today with your personal health care-related question. If I understand correctly, you are wondering if your recent weight loss is contributing to your seemingly increased need for more CPAP pressure.  The short, easy answer is "No"...but no question is ever that cut and dry.  ;-)  Generally speaking, when you lose a considerable amount of weight, your body has a "smart chip" that seems to know what areas of excess weight to attack first, and then once it's satisfied with that area, it moves to the next area. For most men, we tend to lose weight first in the belly, then the sides (love handles), then the neck and face. As it relates to snoring, noticeable weight loss in the face and neck would typically DECREASE your need for CPAP pressure because there is LESS fatty tissue to obstruct the upper airway that CPAP targets to begin with.  The need for CPAP actually has no relation to lung function whatsoever, as the positive airway pressure created via CPAP is strictly used for pushing the UPPER airways open to minimize obstruction. The lungs are part of the body's LOWER airways, which are not really even affected by this pressure.  

Now...I know this is a bizarre question, but is there ANY chance you are on ANY form of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?  One thing I WILL say is I am hearing and reading more and more in male patients who are supplementing their Testosterone, is they are seeing dramatic increases in their normal many cases, even men LOSING weight are requiring MORE air pressure to satisfy their upper airway needs while sleeping. One of the listed side affects for Testosterone therapy is that it "can potentially make sleep apnea worse, and should be considered before starting testosterone therapy."  However, I have yet to see an explanation for this that satisfies my scientific curiosity.

Anyway, I hope I was of some help. If not, sorry, I am trying here!  LOL. If so, I am hoping you consider "Rating" positively in an email that you should be receiving shortly from - best of health to you!

Take care,

Larry, RRT

Respiratory Therapist

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Larry W. Wical, BA-RRT


I CAN answer: ALL questions and queries related to the following topics... - Oxygen - Asthma - COPD - Bronchitis - Emphysema - Pneumonia (Viral/Bacterial) - Tuberculosis (TB) - SARS - Influenza (Flu) - Vaccines - Pulmonary Embolism - Pleural Effusion - Atelectasis - Inhalation injuries (burns, chemicals, etc.) - PFTs - Cardiovascular health - Sleep Apnea - BiPap/CPAP - Ventilators ("Respirators") - Aspiration injuries - Thoracic injuries - Lung contusions - Tracheal injuries - Artificial Tracheostomy - Secretions - Prolotherapy/Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT): A patient's experience/perspective - General health and fitness I CANNOT answer: Questions that vary too far from my primary scope of pulmonary and cardiovascular care and fitness. I promise to be open and honest about my knowledge of submitted topics, and will always openly provide my personal as well as professional feedback as it relates.


Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT, RCP) since 2005. I have worked primarily in the acute care, critical care, burn care and home care settings.

NBRC - National Board of Respiratory Care AARC - American Association of Respiratory Care

-All About Kids Magazine -The Clermont Sun -Cincy Sports & Fitness Magazine -Many online Fitness and Health blogs and "webazines"

- B.A. in Communication (1997) - A.A.S. in Respiratory Science (2005) - RRT license (state of OH, KY and IN) - Basic Life Saving (BLS) - Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) - Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)

Past/Present Clients
Currently work in the city's largest academic/research hospital.

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