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Do You Need CPAP Treatment Forever?
If you’re like most people you may not like the idea of having CPAP treatment forever. But, that may not be the case for you. How long you have to use CPAP all comes down to your sleep apnea diagnosis and how effective your treatment is.
Like many illnesses, the length of your treatment really comes down to whether you have mild or severe sleep apnea. If you have mild sleep apnea than you may not need CPAP treatment forever. But, if you have severe sleep apnea the consequences can be life-threatening and it’s more likely that you will need CPAP treatment forever.
Your Sleep Apnea Diagnosis May Determine If You Need CPAP Treatment Forever
Everyone develops sleep apnea for different reasons. Your sleep apnea may be caused by being overweight or obese, menopause, being pregnant, or it could be the structure of your jaw or throat. And then there are all the other factors that exacerbate your sleep apnea. Things like alcohol, caffeine, poor sleep hygiene, nasal congestion or simply sleeping on your back.
Having a really good understanding of the underlying cause of your sleep apnea and the factors that make it worse is important. It can help you determine whether or not you may need CPAP treatment forever. Talk to your Sleep Therapist about what you can do to get a better night’s sleep.
Bear in mind that some factors are easier than others to prevent. It’s easy enough to create a calm and relaxing sleep environment. Losing weight, on the other hand, can be really difficult.
The thought of having CPAP treatment forever may be upsetting. Especially when you are first diagnosed with sleep apnea. But, let’s look at some of the benefits you will notice after only a few weeks of your treatment.
What Are the Benefits of CPAP Treatment?
Obviously the main benefit of CPAP is that you will stop snoring and you and your partner will get a better night’s sleep.
But here are some more benefits you may not know about:
- Reduce your risk of heart disease. If you have untreated sleep apnea, there’s a higher chance you will suffer from congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and irregular heartbeat,
- Reduce your risk of stroke. Treatment of sleep apnea reduces your risk of stroke by 2-4 times,
- Become a safer driver. Driving with untreated sleep apnea is extremely dangerous, similar to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You’ll have more energy and feel more alert during the day,
- You’ll be able to concentrate for longer periods,
- Improve your mood, reduce your risk of depression and improve your quality of life,
- Lose weight. Many people report their increased energy levels lead to weight loss,
- Better relationships with your partner, family members, friends and work colleagues,
- Save money long-term. You’ll find that you are sick less often, cutting your medical and prescription costs.
There are so many more benefits you’ll notice as you progress through your CPAP treatment. But you need to be compliant. While there is no strict definition of what CPAP compliance is, it’s widely recognised that to be compliant you need to use your CPAP for at least 4 hours per night for 70% of nights. In a nutshell, the more you use your CPAP, the better your treatment and the more benefits you’ll receive.
What If You Don’t Like CPAP?
If the thought of enduring CPAP treatment forever makes you feel down, rest assured. There are many ways to make your CPAP treatment more comfortable. The main thing to remember when you start to use CPAP is that it requires patience and perseverance.
It’s no surprise that wearing a strange mask strapped to your face is going to feel a little strange on the first few nights. Or even for the first week. But don’t worry. You will get used to it. If after a couple of weeks you find your mask uncomfortable or you find it difficult to sleep contact your Sleep Therapist. It may be that your mask is not fitted correctly. Or, the setting on your machine may not be what you were prescribed. Check out our troubleshooting guide for getting a great night’s sleep with CPAP here.
The main thing is not to stress about wondering if you will need CPAP treatment forever. Just take things one step at a time. You never know how much your health may improve until you try it out and stick with it. In fact, if you’re like many people, the side effect of losing weight from CPAP treatment may be enough to reduce the severity of your sleep apnea. And that means you may not need CPAP treatment forever.
The negative consequences of sleep-disordered breathing are serious, and the effects of treatment are extraordinarily positive. If you or someone you care about suffer from snoring and sleep apnea call us today on 1300 246 637 (or submit a confidential email using the webform below) to chat with one of our friendly Sleep Therapists. Contact us now.
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