Why Do I Need to Continue my CPAP Therapy?
According to several studies in the field, millions of Americans are struggling with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This is a condition in which there are blockages in the patient’s upper airways, and the airflow is restricted. Patients wake up suddenly with a sensation of choking, and they are gasping for their breath. The throat muscles should normally remain open while sleeping, but patients with OSA experience breathing obstructions very frequently.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea patients stop breathing even up to 15 or more seconds during each apnea episode. Physicians typically prescribe the use of a CPAP – or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure- device which delivers a Continuous Flow of pressure to keep the airways open. The patient gets enough pressure to maintain open airways and he can sleep without disruptions.
The use of a CPAP machine helps eliminating all major side effects of OSA:
- daytime sleepiness
- chronic fatigue
- nightmares & sudden awakenings because of an apnea episode
- high blood pressure
- general bad mood
- high levels of stress and anxiety
One of the leading causes for Sleep Apnea is obesity but the regular use of CPAP therapy and a healthier dietary intake will help restoring the balance. Some obese patients who used CPAP therapy and lost considerable weight during a certain amount of time actually noticed that symptoms got fewer and less recurrent and the quality of their life improved considerably.
CPAP is a non invasive, extremely efficient therapy for Sleep Apnea. Your physician will appoint the type of CPAP device that you need and the Flow setting that is required to offer you the best therapy. Unfortunately, there are some patients that give up using CPAP therapy after a while. They notice the beneficial effects, but they will simply discontinue using the device.
It is important to mention that CPAP therapy is intended for long term use, so that the regularity of the symptoms will be significantly reduced. Keep in mind the following before discontinuing CPAP therapy:
- The discomforting symptoms that you struggled with before CPAP therapy will most likely return if you give up using the device
- Medical studies have shown that patients who discontinue using CPAP therapy will experience a higher blood pressure, low insulin resistance, systemic inflammation and increased heart rate
- Since oxygen levels decrease in the bloodstream if CPAP therapy is not used anymore, patients will experience again long, sleepless nights because of breathing problems
Within as little as 3 days from discontinuing CPAP therapy, the problematic side effects can return.
In order to get the best results through CPAP therapy, you should use your CPAP device just as directed by your physician. Do not discontinue CPAP therapy because therapy helps:
- achieving a significant decrease in snoring
- more oxygen supply to the blood means a better working, healthier heart that does not have to “force” itself pumping blood
- studies proved CPAP therapy helps lowering blood pressure
CPAP therapy is non invasive, efficient and cost effective. Considering all these important factors, it is definitely worth committing to CPAP therapy at home for the sake of better health within a few weeks only.