Sleep Apnea Patients - Get the
Most out of CPAP Therapy
By Sue Sarko
If you’ve been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, chances are
you use a CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine while sleeping at
night. It is estimated that 4 million people in the United States use CPAP therapy today, and an additional
35 million Sleep Apnea cases remain undiagnosed.
C-PAP therapy is the most commonly prescribed method for treating
obstructive sleep apnea. It
works by gently blowing air through the airway at a pressure high enough to
keep the airway open. This treatment is
regarded as the most effective method for treating obstructive sleep apnea,
however, using a CPAP can present certain challenges for the patient.
The Sleep Apnea Association gives patients a grade of C- concerning
compliance with CPAP recommendations. Considering the
serious nature of the disorder, this is a dangerously low grade.
While several factors contribute to low compliance rates, mask
discomfort is one of the larger issues.
Masks tend to press against the face causing pressure and discomfort.
The constant flow of air from the machine can result in dry, cracked
skin. CPAP users also complain
that they feel restricted to a certain sleeping position and that the hose
gets in the way during the night.
Your first step should be to consult with a
practitioner about the right type of mask.
There are many varieties available.
Also, be certain that your air pressure levels are set appropriately
and that you are using the right type of CPAP machine.
Once you’ve got the right equipment in place, you might
consider looking into the various sleep apnea aids, accessories and pillows that can help patients
deal with comfort issues and improve compliance rates.
A sleep apnea pillow, for example can go a long way
toward relieving mask pressure
against the face, and can also help reduce mask leaks.
Hose covers made of soft materials that glide more easily over sheets
are available as well. Skin
creams applied prior to bedtime each night help keep skin moist and healthy
and certain pillows are designed to allow freedom of movement during the
Many Durable Medical Equipment (DME)) stores carry C-PAP
accessories such as sleep apnea pillows and other aids, or you can check your
local bedding and pillow stores. We are
proud to offer a new and improved version of our CPAP Multi-Mask Sleep Aid
Pillow - See it here!.