All across the United States men and women, young and old, suffer from sleep apnea. Over 18 million Americans suffer from the extremely frustrating and yet treatable condition.
What can be frustrating about sleep apnea is that it can go undiagnosed for quite some time. People may not know that they need to seek treatment for what might simply be thought of as a bad snoring habit. As a result, nearly one in 50 individuals has an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. That is two to four percent of all Americans.
Undiagnosed cases of sleep apnea can lead to some serious conditions. People who are untreated for their condition are four times as likely to suffer a stroke and three times as likely to develop heart disease as those who are not afflicted. Thankfully, there is treatment available. A sleep apnea machine can make life much easier for the patient as well as for those who sleep in the same home with a sleep apnea sufferer.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a common treatment for sleep apnea. The treatment consists of a small machine that supplies constant and steady air pressure, a hose, and a mask or nose piece, depending on the type of machine. Using these machines properly can be difficult if you aren’t sure how they operate. Here are some tips for things to look out for.
The first thing you should watch out for is that you have the correct size and the proper style mask. CPAP machine masks come in different styles and sizes. It is not a one size fits all situation. Make sure you work with your doctor to get the right one for you. A sleep apnea machine will only work as well as your mask or nose piece fits your face.
Secondly, discuss with your doctor any problems you may experience tolerating the forced air pressure from your sleep apnea machine. There are adjustments that can be made to your CPAP settings to steadily increase the flow of air automatically. Today’s sleep apnea machine equipment allows you adjust your masks, air pressure and nasal pillows if you need them.
A third thing you might need to deal with is the possibility of feeling claustrophobic. Try the mask on without any air pressure first. Just get used to it around your face. Once you feel comfortable, try putting the mask on with the straps. After that feels fine, then try running some of the air through, a little at a time. The more you practice it, the easier it will be.
Don’t let sleep apnea get in the way of living a normal life. There are treatments, and these days, finding the right sleep apnea machine could enhance your life a great deal.