Sleep apnea is a sleep related illness where breathing is suspended for very brief periods due to the tightening of the air passage. The absence of breath is only for a few seconds so that the sufferer is, in most cases, unaware of what has happened. But the suspension of breath often disrupts sleep, resulting in frequent awakening during the night. Though severe cases of apnea could often result in complications, it is a treatable condition. CPAP machines are one of the many suggested cures for the problem. The device is used for helping the constricting airways to remain open. Users should ideally keep in mind the following guidelines while using it: CPAP Masks
1. A CPAP machine functions by using air pressure to prevent the constricting of the air passage. This reduces the chances of suspension of breathing. The user may feel a little uncomfortable about this mask around his nose-mouth area in the beginning, but minor adjustments will rectify this problem. However, under no condition should the device be used without the prescription and guidance of a doctor. Besides controlling apnea, the machine will reduce snoring also.
Using nasal pillows, skin moisturizer, chin strap, etc. are ways of reducing the discomfort of CPAP machines. Nasal pillows are fixed inside nostrils to reduce the pressure resulting from the use of CPAP, and chin straps are used to keep the jaws locked to retain the air inside. Skin moisturizers, in general, reduce the skin irritation resulting from the use of these machines. And doctors will have yet other suggestions to reduce the discomforts.
2. A healthy diet also can reduce the chances of sleep apnea. Smoking, using of sedatives, and drinking in excess, are habits that will promote the possibility of apnea. Getting rid of these habits completely is the best solution. If that is not possible, at least reducing all these is a necessity. A longer life is the gift you will get by kicking off these habits.
3. Constant monitoring by the attending doctor is important while the patient is getting used to the device. A CPAP device is not like a medicine where once it is prescribed the patient needs to consult the doctor only after that course of medicine is over. The doctor has to be continuously kept informed of its effect and progressive use.
4. Widening your information about the prevalence of the disease, its treatment options, and other statistics will also help in controlling the disease. Though the guidance of the doctor is unavoidable, remaining better informed about the problem will have myriad benefits. By having a better idea about the long term implications of the problem, and the means to cope with it, a patient will be able to respond to, and handle the situation more effectively.
5. Support groups are a great help for sleep apnea patients. About 18 million people have the problem in USA alone. This means that there are a huge number of people with similar concerns. A give and take scenario with them will have a high therapeutic value.