4 Tips for a Better Experience with Your CPAP Machine
Sleep apnea is a serious medical problem that impacts at least 18 million Americans. If you have been diagnosed with this disorder, you may have been told to look for new or used CPAP machines. There are a few things you can do to make using your sleep apnea machine easier to deal with.
First, it is important to understand what sleep apnea is. During the night, people who suffer from sleep apnea will stop breathing for periods of time. Sleep experts and medical professionals refer to these periods of time as “apneas.” They can last for just a few seconds or up to a full minute. People who suffer from serious sleep apnea can have many of these up to 60 times each hour.
Why is this so serious? When you stop breathing, your brain is deprived of the oxygen it needs. People who suffer from sleep apnea are more likely to develop other serious medical problems. It has been estimated that their risk for having a stroke is at least four times greater than people who do not have sleep apnea. The are also three times more likely to develop serious heart disease. It may go without saying that when you suffer from sleep apnea, you have lower quality sleep, which can result in weight gain, depression and a host of other problems. In short, if you have been given the diagnosis of sleep apnea, you should pay attention and look at new and used CPAP machines.
How is sleep apnea treated? The most common kind of sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction that prevents air from getting through (there are also neurological causes). The “gold standard” in sleep apnea treatment is a machine called a continuous positive airway pressure machine or CPAP machine. Basically, it forced air into your lungs while you sleep to prevent you from not breathing.
The problem is that these machines can take some getting used to. It has been estimated that the number of sufferers who do not use their equipment enough to be effective at treating their sleep apnea is 80%. Here are some things you can do to get used to your machine:
- Get the right size. If your CPAP mask does not fit correctly, it will not be comfortable and you will not wear it. Even if you can get around wearing something that is not as comfortable as you would like it to be, it might not be as effective if it is not the right size for your face. When you are looking at new and used CPAP machines, talk to the salesperson about the right fit. Do not use a hand me down mask that fits someone else. It may be useless to you.
- Get used to using it. Take some time to get used to wearing your mask. This means, when you are at home watching TV, tweeting or reading, put it on and wear it around the house. This way you can get used to having something on your face. It may take some time but the more comfortable you are wearing your mask while you are awake, the more likely you will be to wear it to go to sleep.
- Wear it all of the time when you are sleeping. When you lie down to take a nap or go to bed for the night, put your mask on. It will take some time to get used to falling asleep with it on your face but if you make the commitment to getting used to it, it will happen. Just think of all of the benefits to wearing the mask and using the machine.
- Use the “ramp up” feature. Many people say that it can take a while to get used to the air being pushed into your lungs so you may want to get a model that has a feature to ramp up the amount of air it pushes through your system. This will help you get used to falling asleep with the machine running.
New and used CPAP machines can make a world of difference in your health and quality of life and sleep so use them properly.