Sleep apnea is a condition where an individual has cessations in their breathing multiple times per night due to airway constrictions. It is estimated that nearly 18 million
Americans across the country are affected by sleep apnea, but many of them are unaware of how the condition affects them. Some figures suggest that two to four percent of all Americans may have an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea: that is one in every 50 people. Extreme snoring may be a tell-tale sign of sleep apnea; here are some reasons why one may want to visit a doctor to get their sleep apnea under control.
The Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea
The basic description of sleep apnea includes the impairment of breathing due to restricted airways; in any given night a suffer of sleep apnea could experience up to 60 apneas per hour. Thankfully, the brain is keen enough to note a lack of oxygen after some time; this means that sleep apnea sufferers will always resume breathing at some point. While the threat of suffocation in one’s sleep is nearly non-existent for sleep apnea sufferers, there are a number of related health concerns with the condition that should be enough to warrant treatment.
The lapses in breathing make it difficult for oxygen to enter the body; this can in-turn cause significant cardiovascular problems for sufferers. Studies have found that those with untreated cases of sleep apnea are four times more likely to have a stroke than the general population. Heart disease is also three times more common in those with untreated sleep apnea; high blood pressure and heart attacks are also more likely. The National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research found that around 38,000 deaths occur annually that are related to cardiovascular problems that are linked to sleep apnea in some way.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea includes the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine uses a steady, stream of air to keep the airway unobstructed during sleep. The machine is connected to a nasal tube or mask and proves to be the most direct and effective non-invasive treatment option — but only if they are used correctly. Up to 80% of sleep apnea patients admit that they do not use their CPAP machines often enough to keep them safe with about half of all patients ceasing to use their machines entirely after one to three weeks. Many patients report discomfort or an inability to sleep with the mask on — maybe its time to find a better CPAP alternative to stay protected and sleep soundly.
Finding a Better CPAP Machine
Not all CPAP machines are the same, and not all patients share the same needs. When it comes to the actual mask, up to 50% of patients prefer the nasal pillow model and 45% prefer the actual nasal CPAP mask. Patients over the age of 60 are five times more likely to require heated humidification for their CPAP machines. REMstar plus CPAP machines come with a heated tube option to minimize discomfort and help keep patients sleeping sound throughout the night. Other patients refuse to wear their CPAP machines due to the continuous pressure; the very thing that keeps them safe from sleep apnea actually prevents them from exhaling fully. To remedy this, REMstar plus machines come with a C-Flex pressure relief setting that matches the machine’s airflow to the patient’s breath; this means that the airflow decreases upon exhales to allow the patient to breathe more naturally during sleep. Patients should ask their doctor what REMstar plus CPAP machines would work best for their sleep apnea. Something so necessary to our lives shouldn’t be a cause for fear or illness; don’t risk another night with sleep apnea with so many REMstar plus CPAP options available to keep patients sleeping safe and sound throughout the night.