For people who suffer from sleep apnea, which is estimated to be a shocking 18 million Americans, finding the right treatment to make sure you get a good night’s sleep is crucial. After all, you spend one-third of your life asleep, which means those who suffer from sleep apnea spend eight hours a day at risk of the serious health effects associated with this disorder.
CPAP masks, or Constant Positive Airway Pressure, give people with sleep apnea the peace of mind they deserve when they lay down at night. It is important to undergo a sleep study to ensure your mask has the CPAP settings that are customized and unique to your personal needs. Knowing the basics of sleep apnea is vital in order to find out if it could affect you and, more importantly, how to treat it.
Demographics matter. There are several indicators that you could be at a higher risk for sleep apnea than others, but none are more prevalent than gender. Men are twice as likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women, and asthma patients odds to suffer from the disorder are about 40% higher than their healthier peers. Being aware of how gender, age, and other ailments can affect your odds to suffer from sleep apnea can help you identify any potential problems early.
The health effects of sleep apnea are dire. It may go without saying, but sleep apnea can be deadly and is nothing to take lightly. In addition to disrupting your sleep, untreated sufferers have almost three times the risk of getting heart disease and four times the risk of having a stroke. This also relates to those who are already being treated for their sleep apnea but don’t have the proper CPAP settings. If your CPAP mask isn’t working exactly how you need it to, you are just as much at risk for these potentially fatal results as anybody.
Some CPAP users don’t always use them properly. The importance of respecting your CPAP machine and understanding what it does for you cannot be emphasized enough. Studies have found that about half of those who are given CPAP machines stop using them within one to three weeks. This is strongly discouraged. Your sleep apnea is a serious condition and making sure you’re wearing it every night, let alone wearing it correctly, is paramount to your health and safety.
Approximately 4% of Americans have an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea, so it is extremely important to see a doctor if you feel any discomfort or difference in your sleep. There have been tremendous advancements in CPAP masks in the past decade and used CPAP machines work just as well if you think purchasing a mask is out of your budget. Your doctor will figure out the right CPAP settings that work for you and give you the best night of sleep you can possibly have.