If you're thinking can CPAP masks treat sleep apnea, you're on the right road. Learn more about these devices.
Sleep better using a CPAP device. You’ll also lower your risk for certain diseases.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, sleep apnea is a condition in which a person has one or more shallow breaths or pauses in breathing while sleeping. These pauses can last anywhere from seconds to minutes, and they can happen at a rate of 30 or more per hour. After a pause ends and a person starts breathing normally again, they may snort loudly or make a choking sound. This condition is chronic and can affect sleep quality because the person moves out of deep sleep and into lighter sleep when a pause and resume in breathing occurs. Sleep apnea causes excessive sleepiness during the day because of poor sleep quality at night. If this condition goes untreated, it can raise the person’s risk of heart failure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and irregular heartbeats.
Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces and CPAP masks connected to a pump can help with this condition. So if you are asking ‘can cpap masks treat sleep apnea?’ the first thing your doctor may recommend is lifestyle changes, especially if your apnea is very mild. Medicines that make you drowsy and alcohol are to be avoided as they can make it more difficult for your throat to remain open while you’re sleeping. If you’re overweight, shedding some of the extra pounds can lessen your symptoms. Sleeping on your back is not recommended as it’s easier for your throat to stay open when you’re on your side. Allergy medicines and nasal sprays may be used to help keep your nasal passages open, and smoking is generally off the table.
Mouthpieces can help if your sleep apnea is mild. Made by your dentist or an orthodontist, these dental appliances are custom-fit to your mouth and help keep your airways open while you sleep by adjusting your tongue and lower jaw. Even if you don’t have sleep apnea yet but you do snore, your doctor may recommend a dental appliance. If you find your mouthpiece is causing you pain or discomfort, go back to the doctor’s office as the fit may have to be adjusted.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a common treatment for moderate or severe adult sleep apnea. Can CPAP masks treat sleep apnea is a common question because a mask with a pump doesn’t seem like much, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, it is the leading treatment for this sleep disorder. Before you visit a CPAP store, learn more about the machine.
With a resmed CPAP machine, a mask is connected to an air pump. You wear the mask while you’re sleeping at night, and it gently blows some air right into your throat. The pressure the air creates will help your airway stay open while you’re sleeping. Generally, if your doctor recommends a CPAP machine, a technician from the CPAP store will come to your home with the equipment. He or she will set the device up and adjust it based on the directions from your doctor. After this first setup, you may need to have the device adjusted every so often so you get the best results. A CPAP machine can cause side effects, such as irritated skin on the face, headaches, or a stuffy or dry nose. However, you should report any side effects you experience to the technician and your sleep specialist as there may be adjustments that could be made to reduce your discomfort. Your mask, for example, might be too loose or too snug, both of which could cause side effects. Note that if you experience stomach discomfort or bloating when you’re wearing the mask, your machine probably isn’t set up correctly for you and needs adjustment. If you’re not happy with your machine or masks, speak to your doctor; there is more than one kind out there and you may need a different type.
So can can CPAP masks treat sleep apnea? As long as you ease yourself into harnessing one. Wearing a mask while you sleep can take some getting used to, but the results are well worth it. The Mayo Clinic suggests wearing just the mask for short periods of time while you’re awake, then adding the air in so you get used to the feeling. Once you’re comfortable with how it feels, begin to use it at night and when you take naps. Do use it every time you sleep once you’ve gotten past your initial concerns about wearing it, as delaying it will lead to inconsistent use and you won’t get the best results. When you first start trying to sleep with the mask on, you may have trouble, so try using the “ramp feature” to ease you into sleep. This feature is available on many devices, and it will gradually raise the air pressure to your prescribed level as you drift off. Note that newer CPAP models are quite quiet, so if yours is making noise, speak to the technician because it might need some maintenance.
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