In a previous post, we talked about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and how using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can reduce the symptoms and risks of this serious health condition. If you have OSA, the soft tissues of your throat collapse and block your airway while you sleep, causing breathing to stop and start repeatedly. A CPAP machine takes care of all that by blowing pressurized air through a mask into the airway, keeping it clear of obstructions.
Using a CPAP machine alleviates breathing problems while you sleep, ensuring you get a good night’s rest and wake up feeling refreshed. Apart from quality sleep, CPAP therapy offers a raft of other health benefits, including the following:
Lowers the risk for chronic diseases
The constant pauses in your breathing while you sleep lowers the oxygen levels in your organs, so they cannot function well. Your diaphragm and chest muscles have to work doubly hard to pull air into your lungs. The low flow of oxygen in your body, coupled with the extra effort your organs have to expend, puts an enormous strain on your heart and blood vessels. This can lead to hypertension and coronary artery disease. In extreme cases, OSA can lead to heart failure.
Your cardiovascular system isn’t the only one affected by OSA. It can also do a number on your endocrine system. Studies link poor sleep quality brought about by OSA to type 2 diabetes. The chronic fatigue caused by disturbed sleep causes hormonal changes that drive the body to release glucose into the bloodstream. In turn, the pancreas is spurred to produce more insulin. Constantly producing high amounts of insulin to regulate blood glucose damages the pancreas over time.
Using a CPAP machine alleviates the symptoms of OSA, eases pressure on your body systems, and restores their normal function.
Improves mental acuity
Memory, focus, concentration, and understanding are measures of mental acuity, and CPAP therapy will help to improve all of these. After all, the brain’s functions largely hinge upon how well or poorly you sleep, so it only follows that these will be vastly improved by using a CPAP machine.
In fact, research shows that white matter damage in the brain caused by severe OSA is reversible with continuous CPAP therapy. This type of brain damage is marked by cognition, mood, and daytime alertness impairments. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed an almost complete reversal of white brain matter abnormalities in patients who used a CPAP machine for 12 months.
Your mind will be less foggy when you treat your OSA with a CPAP machine, so you can process and acquire information quickly. Waking up feeling refreshed in the morning will also put you in a better mood. You’ll be more productive at work because you won’t be constantly nodding off at your desk.
Being more alert also keeps you from getting into a vehicular accident. A study finds that drivers with OSA are 2.5 times more likely to get in a car accident than those without OSA. The same study shows that OSA patients who use CPAP machines at least four hours every night are 70 percent less likely to be involved in a vehicular accident.
Boosts energy and metabolism
One of the worst things about having OSA is that it keeps you from enjoying life, as poor sleep saps you of the energy to do anything. Even your hobbies can prove to be a chore if you feel exhausted all the time.
Nightly CPAP treatments can boost your energy levels, so you can do more each day. Completing work tasks and household chores will be a breeze, and you’ll even have enough energy at the end of the day to spend quality time with your family or do the things you enjoy. Higher energy levels also increase your ability to engage in physical activity, ensuring you get the exercise you need to rev up your metabolism and lose weight.
If you’re one of the millions of American adults suffering from depression and no treatment seems to be working for you, consider getting checked for obstructive sleep apnea.
In a study of 125 adults with major depressive disorder, 14 percent were found to have OSA. Many of the participants had what’s known as treatment-resistant depression, which might have been caused by undetected sleep apnea.
However, OSA is just one of many possible underlying medical conditions causing your feelings of depression. To be sure, it’s best to consult with a specialist. Once it’s been determined that you have OSA, your doctor will give you a prescription for a CPAP machine. Don’t expect immediate results, though — it takes a while, but you’ll definitely see improvements in the quality of your sleep and in your mood.
CPAP therapy does wonders for your well-being and quality of life. Consult with a doctor to learn if CPAP is right for you, and how you can ensure it delivers its life-changing benefits effectively.
Revsuppliance is trusted by home medical equipment (HME) companies and healthcare providers in Oklahoma City and throughout the United States. Let us take care of your resupply and compliance needs so you can focus on providing quality care and improving patient outcomes. For inquiries or to schedule a demo, contact us at 405-467-1791.