Sleep apnea is a persistent condition where a sufferer stops breathing for a few seconds or even minutes at a time. Although the brain forces the body to resume breathing once oxygen levels in the brain get too low, a sufferer can experience up to 60 apneas per hour in an average night. Besides the restless sleep, there are a number of serious health concerns associated with sleep apnea if left untreated.
The Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea
It is estimated that one in every 50 Americans suffer from an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea — many of these people are unaware that they even have the condition. Due to the lack of oxygen getting to the bloodstream during sleep, sufferers of sleep apnea experience cardiovascular issues like stroke, high blood pressure, and even heart disease with increased frequency than non-sufferers: studies show that they are three times more likely to have heart disease and four times more likely to experience a stroke than non-sufferers and those who treat their sleep apnea. In total, there are an estimated 38,000 deaths caused by cardiovascular conditions linked to sleep apnea according to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research.
Using a CPAP Machine Effectively
The most widespread non-invasive treatment option for sleep apnea patients is through the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP machine). These machines maintain open airways through the introduction of constant air pressure through a nasal or face mask. As many as 80% of patients admit that they don’t use their CPAP enough to keep them safe with studies showing nearly half of all sufferers ceasing to use their machines in as little as one to three weeks time. Experts recommend using a CPAP at least 70% of the time over a 30 day period to stay protected (and covered by insurance): this amounts to at least four hours every night. With a variety of different types of CPAP masks and machines, those who find their CPAP machine to be uncomfortable can find a solution through a company that specializes in CPAP supplies. Sleep should be nothing but restful: protect yourself and sleep soundly through the night by properly using a CPAP machine customized to suit you.