Continuous positive airway pressure machine commonly known as a CPAP machine is extremely useful in helping to treat sleep disorders. Using a CPAP machine may be annoying for the person using it and frustrating for the person that has to listen to it, but it can save your life. CPAP machines are the primary course of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. There are different parts to the machine that must be used properly. The whole purpose of the machine is to allow you to get the oxygen you need during sleep. When you do not get enough oxygen, your body suffers, and it can affect your whole quality of life. You may not have been interested in using a CPAP machine before, but a good understanding of the benefits may persuade you to use it if you have obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by the blockage of airflow during sleep. When you are sleep, you have to breathe. If you have experienced a cold or other health conditions that affect your breathing, you know how hard it is to go to sleep sometimes. It is natural for us to breath through our nose, but when our noses are congested, we may have to breathe through our mouth. Sleep apnea is not a problem with congestion in the nose, but more so a problem with blockage in the windpipe. Some people experience a relaxation of muscles in the throat while they sleep. When these muscles relax, it partially and sometimes completely block oxygen from getting into your body. The body then struggles for oxygen, and you may find yourself or your partner choking and coughing. The muscle eventually goes back to its normal position, but it may relax several times during the night.
Diagnosing sleep apnea is fairly easy. The first step in the diagnosis of the disease is understanding the symptoms. Most symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness. When you do not get enough oxygen through the night, your body will feel very tired and like it has not gotten any rest at all. If you have a partner, they may notice you stop breathing during the night, or you snore heavy. If these symptoms are common, you should go in for a sleep study. Sleep studies are done either in a hospital or at a sleep center. During a sleep study, sensors are put on you to monitor different aspects of your sleep pattern. During one test, your doctor will be able to diagnose which sleep disorder you have. If they notice your breathing is abnormal or disrupted throughout your sleep, they will diagnose you having obstructive sleep apnea.
The best treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is a CPAP machine. The machine is not an oxygen machine. It does not give you oxygen through the night. The machine works through pressure. The CPAP machine provides a continuous flow of air pressure that keeps the throat open during sleep. The machine has different components. The main component is the control center where you turn the machine on and adjust the pressure coming out of the machine. The next component is the hose. The hose sends air from the machine to the mask. The mask is connected to the hose and what you wear throughout the night.
Risks and Benefits
The CPAP machine is extremely beneficial and has only a few risks. The risks are more so complications rather than actual risks. One problem you can have with the machine is the fit. Sometimes the mask is not the right size, and that can become uncomfortable. When first wearing the mask, it can be difficult to go to sleep. If you sleep on your stomach, you may have trouble. The machine tends to make noise as well which can be an issue. Due to the airflow throughout the night, it is common for you to have a dry mouth; but this is something that can be cured with water and fluids. If the nose gets dry, try to put some vaseline or something in it to keep it from bleeding. Besides these few complications, there are typically no other issues associated with a CPAP machine. When you start using the machine, you will notice more energy during the day and a lack of daytime fatigue. Your overall health may improve tremendously.
When your sleep is disrupted, you may not notice any changes initially, but it eventually takes a toll on your health. The body is trying to function without the proper amount of rest. Eventually, you end up with heart problems and put yourself at risk for memory loss and even stroke. You should not ignore any symptoms of a sleep disorder. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but it is. The CPAP machine is making a big difference in those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Although using a CPAP machine is not the most enjoyable experience, it can greatly improve your quality of life.
FIND A TOP10MD SLEEP MEDICINE SPECIALIST NEAR YOU
The field of sleep medicine is relatively new, and it’s important to find a sleep doctor with the skills and experience necessary to develop a treatment plan that works for you.
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