Every night, around 25 million Americans reckon with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). In someone with OSA, during sleep, the airway narrows or closes, causing oxygen levels to fall, which causes the brain to wake the person temporarily to reopen the airway.
Not only is this disruptive to sleep, it can also increase the stress response of the body, which in effect increases the risk of experiencing higher blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke.
Current research findings indicate that only 60% of these people actually use a Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine every night. It can be difficult to get into the habit of using a CPAP machine to sleep, but it is essential to remember that sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous condition that does not heal on its own. You’ll get a lot of CPAP advantages if you use your CPAP daily.
How a CPAP machine operates
Ambient air enters through a filter and is pressurized. The devices are designed to produce water pressure from 4 centimeters (CWP) to a maximum of 25 CWP. This air is then passed through a heated humidifier and delivered to the mask interface through the tubing.
Constant airflow produces a barrier along the upper airway, which prevents the collapse of the throat. It also avoids movement of the soft palate, uvula, and tongue into the airway. It reduces snoring and can also ease swelling inside the nose and clear the mucus from the airway.
In turn, breathing normalizes and sleep quality returns.
What are the benefits?
Diminished snoring is one of the most common benefits of CPAP therapy. But there are even other benefits to wellbeing that are not so easy to see — or hear.
Lower risk of car accidents: While driving through the early morning half asleep may be a common cause of car accidents, not using a regular CPAP machine means that car accidents can occur behind the wheel at any time of day or night. You reduce substantially the risk of getting in a car accident when you’re well-rested. The possible injury rates are shocking for OSA patients who are drivers, as well as for those who are licensed drivers.
Lower blood pressure: There are rising numbers of studies that associate high blood pressure to sleep apnea. More than 70 per cent of people with hard-to-treat hypertension have sleep apnea. Nonetheless, sticking with CPAP therapy has been shown to help these people substantially keep their blood pressure under control.
Better cognitive functioning: In those with OSA, the science behind the decreased capacity to focus as well as a general cognitive performance from a lack of CPAP use is well known. Since adequate oxygenation to the bloodstream, and hence the brain, is a significant component of OSA, depriving the mind of the oxygen it needs contributes to all kinds of problems— both short and long term.
Better intimacy: Intimate relationships play an essential role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sadly, patients suffering from sleep apnea can experience a lack of intimacy and the loss of their libido. However, continued use of CPAP therapy can significantly enhance sexual function and satisfaction.
Better diabetes control: Sleep apnea in people with type 2 diabetes is also a common denominator. Steady CPAP therapy can help regulate diabetes by reducing insulin resistance, which leads to more stable levels of blood glucose.
Lowered medical expenses: CPAP therapy will reduce your medical costs by enhancing your health. Sleep apnea can lead to more health issues and to more visits by physicians. Significant health complications associated with sleep apnea such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes can be costly to treat. When using CPAP to control sleep apnea, medical costs will decrease.
Most people find that when they start using a CPAP machine, they relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea, which have taken over their lives. You do not feel exhausted all the time. You will recover the strength you need to exercise, spend time with your children, and more. Now is the time to control your sleep, and live the life that you deserve.