Getting used to CPAP therapy isn’t easy for most people with sleep apnea. However, it’s better for your health in the long run. Here are 10 great reasons to start using your CPAP machine every night.
- Better Sleep: Once you’re used to it, you’ll find that wearing your CPAP mask to bed helps you wake up feeling more refreshed than ever.
- Healthier Heart: Using your CPAP machine helps to keep your blood pressure from spiking, which is healthier for your heart.
- Portable Devices: It used to be difficult to keep up with your CPAP therapy while traveling. But now, it’s easy to find portable CPAP machines so you can stick with your newly improved sleep routine.
- Happier Spouse: CPAP therapy usually eliminates the snoring associated with sleep apnea. While it might not have disturbed your sleep, you can bet that less snoring will make your partner much happier.
- Enhanced Libido: Speaking of happier partners, improved sexual function and satisfaction are tied to the deeper sleep you’ll get by sticking with your therapy routine.
- Reduced Health Concerns: When you don’t use your CPAP machine, you could be increasing your risk of developing serious conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and memory loss.
- More Mask Options: Today, there are more types of CPAP masks available, so if you don’t like the one you have, you can try something new to see if it’s a better fit.
- Diabetes Control: Many people with type 2 diabetes also suffer from sleep apnea, but consistent CPAP therapy has been linked to reduced insulin resistance and more stable blood glucose levels.
- Avoiding Surgery: If you prefer not to have surgery to treat your sleep apnea, it’s best to use your CPAP machine regularly.
- Improved Safety: Excessive daytime sleepiness could result in accidents while driving or working, so it’s safer to use CPAP therapy for better sleep.
Being consistent with your CPAP therapy is key for better overall health and happiness. If you’re having trouble sticking to your CPAP routine, consider trying a new type of mask or talking to your doctor about your options.
Millions of people currently struggle with sleep apnea. But what may be worse is that thousands more don’t know they have it. If you’re concerned about whether you have this sleep disorder, read about the five top signs that you may have sleep apnea below.
1. Loud Snoring
One of the main symptoms of sleep apnea is chronic and loud snoring, sometimes with gasps or choking occurring in between. In some cases, you might even experience short episodes of breathing cessation that you sleep through or which wake you up. Ask a spouse or family member if you snore; many people never hear themselves snore, so they don’t realize it’s an issue.
2. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
If you find yourself falling asleep during the day at inopportune moments, it’s cause for concern. Also called hypersomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness can lead to a significant lack of energy during the day as well as an increased chance of mood swings, depression and irritability. If it feels like a struggle to stay awake while at work, sitting at the dinner table or even driving, be sure to talk to your doctor.
3. Attention Issues
Due to the sleep interruptions caused by sleep apnea, the condition is often associated with attention difficulties. It might seem hard to concentrate or learn new things, and your memory might seem hazier than usual. If this sounds familiar, sleep apnea could be the culprit.
4. Morning Dry Mouth or Sore Throat
People with untreated sleep apnea often wake up with a sore throat or dry mouth. Though it could be caused by other conditions, don’t rule out sleep apnea as a possibility.
5. Morning Headaches
Headaches are also common in the morning for those with sleep apnea. If this is a fairly regular issue for you, see a doctor.
Do you have any of these five symptoms? If so, talk to your doctor about being tested for sleep apnea.
You might think that finding a CPAP mask or machine would be easy. But with a daunting number of choices available today, it’s tricky to figure out the differences between all the models. Here’s a look at the most commonly used types of CPAP machines and masks, including the pros and cons of each.
CPAP Mask Types
The main concern for most people using CPAP therapy is what type of CPAP mask they’ll need to wear. Read about these popular options to find your best fit:
- CPAP Face Mask: A face mask will cover the entire nose, mouth and all or part of the face. They are great for mouth-breathers or those with nasal obstructions and/or allergies. However, some people feel claustrophobic in these masks, and the larger surface area creates an increased chance of air leakage.
- CPAP Nasal Mask: This mask is slightly smaller. It covers the nose from the bridge to the upper lip. It is generally the most popular design since it comes in a wide range of sizes and fits and has very little air leakage. However, it is not the best choice for mouth-breathers and can cause discomfort for those who experience allergies or frequent sinus blockages.
- CPAP Nasal Pillows: A nasal pillow is the most minimal design for CPAP masks. It sits on the upper lip and has two tubes that are inserted into the nostrils to supply air directly. While it’s certainly the least restrictive design, this mask may be more likely to cause nasal dryness. It can also be uncomfortable if you require high pressure settings.
CPAP Machine Features
If you’re a first-time CPAP therapy user, you might not know what to look for in a CPAP machine. Here are some of the key features you might want:
- Quiet functioning
- Built-in humidifier
- Portable design
- Exhalation pressure relief
- Heated tubing
- Leak compensation
- Mask on/off alert
- Data recording
The very best resource for deciding which type of CPAP device to purchase is a medical professional. Use this guide to do your research so you’ll be more informed when discussing your options with your doctor.