How Does CPAP Therapy Work?
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is prescribed to help relieve the airway obstruction that occurs when you sleep. This is done by gently blowing air into your nose and/or mouth to prevent your airway from collapsing. It has been proven that CPAP treatment can dramatically improve the life of someone who has been diagnosed with sleep apnea. When you use the CPAP machine every night while you sleep and your CPAP treatment has been optimized by a sleep specialist, you may experience the following benefits:
- increased energy level and attentiveness during the day
- a decrease in the number of morning headaches
- reduced irritability
- improved memory function
- waking up less during the night to go to the bathroom
- increased ability to exercise because of the increased energy level
- an overall increase in quality of life
It is imperative that you use your CPAP machine for treatment of sleep apnea every night while you sleep. If you don’t, you will return to your previous level of snoring, daytime tiredness, and morning headaches, almost immediately.
Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to a number of other medical conditions, including:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- heart attack
- irregular heart beat
- type 2 diabetes
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is a highly effective treatment for sleep apnea. Unfortunately, this treatment provides no benefit at all if you do not use it. There are reasons why a person would stop using CPAP therapy, such as feeling claustrophobic with the mask on, or having a mask that doesn’t fit properly so it is always slipping. The bottom line is these issues can most often be resolved by informing your sleep specialist of your concerns or questions.
Remember that you should NOT stop your CPAP therapy without the approval of your sleep specialist. You should also consult your sleep specialist if your symptoms do not improve or if your symptoms reappear after your CPAP treatment has been initiated.