Getting a good night’s sleep is as vital as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. And as with nutrition and exercise, everyone’s needs are unique. One person can fully function with only six hours of sleep, while another might need at least seven hours or more. Factors like a person’s age determine an individual’s ideal number of hours of sleep.
Having peaceful nightly slumbers is a benefit on its own, but there are plenty of other advantages: improved memory, sharpened alertness, and a fully recharged body. However, in America, 22 million people suffer from sleep apnea, a sleep disorder known to lead to long-term illnesses.
The dangers of obstructive sleep apnea
Suffering from a sleeping disorder like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which breathing abruptly pauses due to a narrowed or blocked airway, is a serious condition that should be addressed immediately. That’s because waking up feeling exhausted rather than refreshed and well-rested isn’t its only downside.
When someone has OSA, oxygen levels fall when one’s airway narrows or collapses while sleeping, alerting the brain to wake up to reopen the airway. It is marked by symptoms such as waking up with a dry or sore throat, waking up abruptly with a choking or gasping sensation, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Left untreated, it could lead to diseases like heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, heightened risk in developing type 2 diabetes, and more.
What is a CPAP machine?
One way to reduce or eliminate the significant health risks of OSA is to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. A CPAP machine helps by blowing air into the throat through a mask, adding just the right amount of pressurized air and preventing the collapse or narrowing of the airways.
A CPAP machine typically includes a mask, tubing, and an air pressure-generating machine. Used properly, it can help you regain normal sleeping habits and reduce stress and other health risks caused by poor sleep.
How to ensure your CPAP works optimally
To maximize the benefits of a CPAP machine, note the following:
- Types of CPAP masks – You can choose between a nasal mask and a full-face mask, which is bigger and covers more surface area. Both types come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so choose one that fits you to avoid leaks. Note that a full-face mask may be more challenging to use because of its size, and is generally more susceptible to leaks.
- Humidifier – Some machines have humidifiers while some do not. Machines with a humidifier tend to be the better option because they prevent drying out the mouth and nose caused by the CPAP’s airflow.
- Care and maintenance for the machine and its parts – Clean your CPAP machine using the manufacturer’s prescribed instructions. Here are some basic pointers to clean the machine and its parts:
- The mask must be washed after every use. Masks with nasal pillows can be washed every other day with soap and water.
- Machines with a humidifier must be cleaned daily. Clean the chamber using a soft cloth, warm water, and soap to remove bacteria, then rinse it under running water.
- Headgear and tubing can be washed weekly or bi-weekly using warm water and a gentle detergent.
A CPAP machine doesn’t breathe for you. Rather, it helps improve the quality of your breathing as you sleep, enhancing your overall health and well-being. Consult your doctor to learn how you can have better sleep quality and how a treatment option like using a CPAP machine can assist.
Home medical equipment (HME) manufacturers trust Revsuppliance for their HME resupply and compliance needs. For inquiries on HME resupply and patient care solutions, call us at 405-467-1791.