Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that impacts about 18 million Americans. At least 2% to 4% of all people living in the United States have sleep apnea that is untreated. What happens with this disorder is that people stop breathing during sleep. Each period where people stop breathing is called an “apnea.” Sufferers can experience up to 60 episodes each hour. They can last for a few seconds or up to a minute. This can be very dangerous as people who suffer from this disorder are four times as likely to experience a stroke and three times more likely to develop heart disease. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy where air is forced into the sufferer’s lungs are considered to be the “gold standard” for treatment for sleep apnea. The problem is that people have trouble using CPAP machines and dealing with CPAP machine supplies.
- Get a mask that fits. Of all of the CPAP machine supplies that people have to deal with, the CPAP machine masks are the most important in terms of compliance with medical professionals’ instructions. When the mask is too big, people have to pull the straps more tight so that the CPAP nasal masks are not comfortable. When the masks are too small, the CPAP machine effectiveness is diminished and the apparatus is not comfortable enough to wear.
- Wear your mask around the house. Many people report having a hard time getting used to something being placed on their face. One way to get used to this is to wear the CPAP mask at various points during the day. The more comfortable you are wearing the mask, the more likely you are going to be to use your CPAP machine as is recommended by your doctor. This will make it easier to fall asleep with it on your face.
- Include using your CPAP machine in your nighttime routine. If you start using your CPAP machine every time you take a nap or go to sleep at night, you will find it becomes easier and easier to sleep with the CPAP mask on. You should also start to feel the health benefits of getting all the oxygen you need while you are sleeping.
- Make sure you clean all of your CPAP machine supplies. Many people find it helpful to put cleaning the CPAP machine supplies on their calendars. When you set aside some time to clean your CPAP equipment on a regular basis, the experience of using it will be a lot more pleasant. The warm and moist environment is a perfect place for bacteria to grow and thrive. By cleaning out your CPAP machine supplies, you make it all much more healthy.
- Most CPAP machines have an option to use a heated humidifier, use that. One problem that many people have when they go to use their CPAP machine is that they experience very dry mouths, noses and throats. This can be uncomfortable and is not good for your dental health. The heated humidifier can keep those areas from drying out when you are using your CPAP machine.
- Saline solution can help with congestion. Another problem that people experience when they use CPAP machines is they experience some annoying congestion. This can be improved by using a saline solution nasal spray. These can be gentle and make you feel a lot better. Other more traditional nasal sprays can also be helpful when you experience nasal or sinus congestion with the use of the CPAP device.
More than 80% of people who suffer from sleep apnea do not use the CPAP machine enough to be safe from this disorder. Many have problems with the machine itself or the CPAP machine supplies. At least 50% of people who are prescribed this kind of therapy will stop using it within one to three weeks of starting treatment. As a consequence of not being treated or not using the CPAP machine, nearly 38,000 people die every year from cardiovascular problems that are caused by sleep apnea, according to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research. Getting used to the CPAP machine can really do a lot to improve the quality of your life.