One of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea — usually obstructive sleep apnea. Almost 20 million Americans have sleep apnea and it tends to be almost twice as common in men. If you feel that you’re displaying signs of sleep apnea — or others have told you that you chronically and loudly snore or choke during the night — you should head to your doctor and start discussing options for CPAP machines. Leaving your sleep apnea untreated could result in problematic health issues down the road, so you want to be proactive about it now. And, if you’ve been living with sleep apnea for awhile, you may notice that you’re irritable or are increasingly tired during the day. CPAP machines do offer a relatively easy fix for all this, though they may take some getting used to.
How Can Sleep Apnea Have a Negative Effect On My Life?
We all need sleep to function, even though many of us are chronically sleep deprived to some degree. With sleep apnea, however, you may find in the short term that you have decreased energy and constantly feel tired. You may fall asleep at odd hours of the day or catch yourself nodding off. This can be especially dangerous if you have to drive to commute or if you operate heavy machinery. You may also be more irritable and relationships can suffer as a result.
Long term, sleep apnea can have a negative effect on your cardiovascular health, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Indeed, the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research has found that almost 40,000 people die every year because of cardiovascular problems that are connected with sleep apnea in some way.
People who leave their sleep apnea untreated have a four times higher risk of stroke than those without sleep apnea and three times more likely to have heart disease in general.
How Do CPAP Machines Work?
CPAP machine stands for continuous positive airway pressure machine, which is a fairly active description of what it does. The CPAP machine blows a continuous stream of air through a tube that often fits into a mask, which keeps your airway from collapsing. When you have sleep apnea, the snoring and choking noises often associated with it are you trying to take another breath.
There are CPAP masks and CPAP nasal pillows to choose from for your comfort. Some people prefer full face masks, while others would rather just use a nasal pillow. If one type of CPAP machine isn’t working for you, feel free to try others, so that you’re the most comfortable.
Most CPAP machines these days run very quietly and replacement parts can easily be found online. Furthermore, many machines now come with heated humidification, to keep your throat or nose from drying out (these are especially popular among patients who are over the age of 60). For optimal results — and to cover your insurance requirements — you need to use CPAP for at least four hours a night. That winds up being about 70% of the time in a 30 days period.
Where Can I Find CPAP Machines?
Your doctor will give you a prescription for a CPAP machine and your best bet is looking online. It’s possible to find a discount CPAP machine or gently used CPAP machine, if you’re trying to save a little money. Many gently used machines are still in great working condition — their previous owners may have just felt that it wasn’t the right method of treatment for them.
However, there are plenty of retailers who do offer new CPAP machines for sale. Talk to your doctor about the kinds of features you should consider getting — such as humidification — and don’t be afraid to comparison shop. There’s a good range of products out there, so don’t feel like you have to settle with the first one you come across.
Be proactive about your sleep apnea, get checked out, and make moves towards fixing the problem. You’ll sleep better — and your partner may as well– and find that using a CPAP machine may have long term benefits as well.