Sleep apnea is consistently one of the most prevalent sleep-related disorders facing Americans. Of the 18 million affected, two to four percent of Americans, or one in 50 people, have an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. These individuals are four times as likely to suffer a stroke and three times as likely to have heart disease as those unaffected. And for those diagnosed, nearly 80% of patients say they don’t consistently use their cpap masks. Without these, sufferers can experience obstructive sleep apnea up to 60 times a night, putting them at a serious risk for developing potentially life-threatening cardio vascular issues. According to Huffington Post (What is Sleep Apnea? 8 Common Questions), these are four things you should know about your cpap machine to best understand your sleep related medical condition.
- Its the Most Common Treatment Option for Sleep Apnea
- It Takes A Little While to Get Used to
- It Works By Keeping Your Airway Open
- There Are Alternatives, Tho Your Cpap Mask Is Most Effective
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most widely prescribed treatment for millions of Americans dealing with sleep apnea today. But obtaining one is only half the battle. Patients are recommended to wear their cpap mask at least 70% of the time over a 30 day period for at least four hours each night. Still, studies show that about half of all people prescribed CPAP machines stop using them in one to three weeks.
The majority of those prescribed a sleep apnea mask become accustomed to wearing it after a few nights. It’s important to keep the health benefits in mind during this adjustment period, and if you’re still struggling to get used to your cpap mask after a few weeks, talk with your doctor about adjusting the pressure on the machine so you’re more comfortable.
The physical adjustment to and cost of a cpap machine allow you to have a clear, open airway as you sleep, rather than a narrowing that could lead to a cessation of breathing during the night. The cpap mask itself delivers continuous positive airway pressure to your airway in order to keep it expanded and free of any obstruction.
Besides a cpap machine, other options do exist for those not able to tolerate and/or effectively use the traditional method. Certain dental devices and new surgical procedures can now be used to keep airways open and prevent night-time apneas. Still, your cpap mask is the most effective known treatment for your sleep apena today. It’s always recommended that for those patients who are also overweight, that they seek weight loss, as it is often effective in coordination with other treatment options.
Dealing with a sleep related medical condition like sleep apnea can be confusing and frustrating when trying to navigate the world of treatment options. Cpap masks, though the most common and widely known effective treatment, can be hard to adjust to using regularly for some. Regardless of the treatment approach, appropriately dealing with reducing these nighttime obstructions is key in order to avoid the potentially serious medical consequences of this disorder.