Having sleep apnea is more common than one would think. It is estimated that 1 in every 15 Americans actually has this sleeping disorder, totaling 18 million people just in the United States alone.1 Sleep apnea occurs when people repeatedly start and stop breathing while sleeping. This disorder can be characterized by three different types (obstructive, central, and complex), and can vary in severity depending on the risk factors in each person. However, no matter where a person is in their diagnosis and treatment journey of sleep apnea, there are many ways they can manage the symptoms and effects of this sleep disorder so that they can continue living their life and following the same everyday routines and activities.
Ways to Manage Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep condition that will never go away. However, that doesn’t mean a CPAP patient needs to completely stop their life to adjust to their new normal. With a few lifestyle changes, proper and consistent treatment, and the use of a CPAP machine and other products, a person can easily manage sleep apnea and smoothly incorporate a sleep apnea diagnosis into their everyday life.
A healthcare provider might recommend a few of the following lifestyle changes to manage sleep apnea:
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Exercise consistently
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Do not smoke
- Avoid drinking excess alcohol
- Adjust your sleeping position to not sleep on your back
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a very common treatment option for sleep apnea. Unfortunately, CPAP compliance is low – usually, between 60 to 85 percent – as many sleep apnea sufferers grow impatient or give up on treatment altogether.2 Through the use of a CPAP machine, patients receive pressurized air that keeps their airways open to help them continue breathing during the night. CPAP machines come in a variety of designs so that patients can use one that best suits their needs. For example, there are many travel-specific CPAP machines that are designed to be used on airplanes, camping trips, road trips, and more. They are even more compact in size compared to standard CPAP machines, making them easier to pack and transport.
Travel portable batteries are another CPAP product to help sleep apnea patients seamlessly fit therapy into their life. These batteries extend the length a person can spend away from home, made to charge and operate their CPAP machine while they are traveling or on the go. This is ideal for those who are away often, traveling for work, or on vacation.
CPAP therapy also requires using a CPAP mask. This is how the CPAP machine delivers pressurized air to a patient. CPAP masks are manufactured in three different designs, full face, nasal, and nasal pillows, and there is a multitude of each type available on the market. These masks vary in design, shape, noise level, and other features so that every person can find the perfect fit for them. Having the right mask that fits properly and comfortably results in better and more compliant treatment, making it easier to keep living a healthy and active lifestyle.
Not only does CPAP therapy help manage sleep apnea symptoms, but it also has many other benefits including:
- Helps you sleep better
- Improves overall daytime mood and quality of life
- Improves concentration
- Reduces snoring
- Prevents heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more
Getting used to having sleep apnea and managing it is not always easy and may take some time. However, it doesn’t have to completely change your life. Knowing the proper treatment options and other tips and putting them into action can really have a positive impact overall on life. Not only will your daily routines, hobbies, and habits continue, but you will also be feeling better from getting the proper treatment you need.
By Chris Vasta is the Director of Operations at The CPAP Shop
After nearly 20 years of working with sleep apnea equipment, Chris has a deep understanding of the challenges in beginning and adhering to sleep therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturer’s prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide previews on new releases.