Have You Been Prescribed a CPAP Machine? Follow Your Doctor’s Recommendations

There are an estimated 18 million people in the United States that have sleep apnea. In addition to the known cases, it is believed that 2% to 4% of the population are unaware that they have this condition. This means that 1 in 50 Americans may currently be undiagnosed.

Even though women do experience sleep apnea, men tend to have it nearly twice as often. When either men or women have obstructive sleep apnea, however, they may experience 60 apneas an hour due to not receiving sufficient oxygen. In addition to interrupting normal sleep patterns, sleep apnea can be the sign of and/or lead to a variety of issues.

When left untreated, sleep apnea increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular problems. Studies have shown that untreated sleep apnea can also increase the risk of stroke by 4 times. Furthermore, individuals that suffer with this condition are 3 times more likely to also have heart disease. The National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research reported there are roughly 38,000 deaths that occur every year due to cardiovascular issues connected to sleep apnea.

Another study showed that there may be a connection between asthma and sleep apnea. Asthma patients were found to have a 40% increased risk for sleep apnea than their asthma-free counterparts.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP machines, are usually prescribed to address sleep apnea. While some individuals may prefer nasal pillows, others prefer CPAP masks or have no specific preference. For individuals 60 years and older, heated humidification is usually required at a rate of 5 times more often than with those under 60.

Instead of purchasing a brand new CPAP machine, used CPAP machines are also available. When this device only needs to be used for a short period of time, used CPAP machines may be an alternative. There are also CPAP machines available for mouth breathers and side sleepers.

When prescribed, it is essential to use CPAP machines as recommended. Recent figures show that 80% of the patients that are prescribed these devices aren’t using them enough to keep them safe while they sleep. Furthermore, studies also show that approximately half of the patients only use them from 1 to 3 weeks.

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