Sleep apnea can be managed with the help of a CPAP, short for continuous positive airway pressure therapy. But, according to the National Jewish Health organization, over 20 million people in America were diagnosed with this condition, and yet roughly half of that population doesn’t utilize the prescribed CPAP mask, which can help at night.
Mark Aloia, Ph.D., a well-known sleep expert from National Jewish Health, decided to lead a research. In this research, he and his team let the participants watch themselves try to sleep without a CPAP mask. At first, participants were truly amazed by what was happening; however, most of them didn't believe that they were doing such things. The videos were successful in waking up the sense of urgency to alter their behaviors and habits. What is Dr. Aloia’s main objective, here? Primarily, he pursues this to increase awareness towards sleep apnea, which is considered as one of the most ignored disorders.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping condition that is characterized by having pauses in the breathing process during sleep. In some instances, it is also characterized by infrequent breathing every sleeping session. The pause in breathing is called apnea. Apnea can last for a couple of seconds to minutes, and can occur 5 times in one hour.
People at Risk for Sleep Apnea
There is no specific group of people who can experience sleep apnea. Both adults and children can experience it. Most of the people who are prone to this disorder are male, over 40 years old, and obese. Other symptoms include, having a large neck, a jaw bone that is small, an enlarged tongue and tonsils, allergies, problems in the sinus, as well as a family history of sleep apnea. Also, people who are smokers have three times the risk as compared to people who don't smoke.
Three Types of Sleep Apnea
1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea: It is the most common type of sleep apnea. When the soft tissues found in the back of the throat are relaxing during sleep, the airway is being blocked and that causes a person to snore.
2. Central Sleep Apnea: It is the least common type of sleep apnea. It involves the center of the nervous system where the brain fails to give a signal to the muscle that results in the control of breathing. People with this type rarely snore.
3. The Complex Sleep Apnea: It is a type of sleep apnea that is a combination of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.
Signs that an Individual has Sleep Apnea:
- Pauses occur every time you will snore
- Having morning headaches
- Difficulty with concentration and learning
- Feeling depressed and irritable
- Having frequent mood swings
- Waking up frequently during sleep
- Having a sore throat and dry mouth every time you wake up
- Loud snoring
- Suffering from bed wetting
- Perspiring excessively at night
Why use CPAP?
Since snoring is one of the most obvious signs of sleep apnea, CPAP machines are being used. That is why the CPAP machine has been invented, to prevent loud snoring. Based on the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute, CPAP has been documented as one of the best treatments for sleep apnea. It utilizes mild air pressure, which helps the sufferer to maintain proper breathing during sleep.
If your sleep is being interrupted every night, you will feel drowsy during the day. That is why people with sleep apnea are at risk of car accidents, as well as not being productive in the workplace. It also contributes to less productivity in school for children who are suffering from this sleeping disorder. Aside from that, they can also acquire other health problems because of not having enough sleep. For people who have this kind of disorder, it is necessary to have medication. The use of a CPAP machine is a big step for treating sleep apnea.
Why Choose the Right Pillow?
Everyone knows that your day will be better if you have quality sleep. To ensure that you get quality sleep, it is important to use the right mattress or pillow for your sleeping needs. It is recommended that you purchase a CPAP pillow. This pillow helps sleep apnea patients have restful sleep by increasing the therapy experience. This is recommended for back and side sleepers.
CPAP Pillows: The Bright Side
The CPAP pillow has been created to give better support for CPAP users. Here are the following advantages:
- This pillow does not get easily flat, unlike an ordinary pillow.
- It is made from a resilient and comfortable material, which is best suited for back and side sleepers.
- It comes in a wide array of sizes, styles, and shapes.
- It also comes in indentation feature in which it allows space for a better sleeping position.
- Pillow CPAP gives the proper support for both the neck and head.
- It lessens the pressure on the face with the use of the CPAP mask.
- It gives greater way for the effectiveness of the CPAP machine.
- It improves the proper alignment for airways and your spine.
- It also prevents side, neck, and back from stiffness.
- It is easy to wash just like washing your linens or clothes.
Sleep apnea may not be as immediately severe as other diseases, but it can greatly affect your health if overlooked. Therefore, at the first sign of sleeping troubles, you must find a medical professional to treat your condition. Although self-diagnosis is greatly discouraged, you can still prevent serious health problems if you can monitor your health.