Positive Airway Pressure Therapy Improves Sleep Apnea Patients' Quality of Life
According to the American Sleep Association, about 50-70 million of American adults are suffering from a sleep disorder and 48.0 percent of them have issues with snoring. Also, 37.9 percent reported falling asleep during the day unintentionally at least once while 4.7 percent reported falling asleep or nodding off while they are driving at least once in the past month. Drowsy driving is also responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths in the United States.
One of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea. In fact, it has been estimated that 25 million American adults are suffering from OSA or obstructive sleep apnea. This disorder can affect both sexes and all age groups. It has also been said that the prevalence of OSA is as high as 10-20 percent among children who snore habitually. If left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure and even chronic heart failure.
Two of the most common warning signs of OSA is loud snoring and excessive sleepiness during the day. A patient may also experience sudden awakenings that are often accompanied by choking and headaches in the morning. Because of their lack of sleep, patients will experience a difficult time concentrating on daily tasks.
What is PAP?
In obstructive sleep apnea, the patient's upper airway collapses, causing the air to not reach the lungs. With the PAP, patients are able to keep the airway open through the use of air pressure. So, the air then travels down the throat’s back and then into the upper airway.
The machine that is used for the PAP therapy comes in different styles and sizes. So, the patient can just choose a device that they are most comfortable with. As for the results of the treatment, it may take some time for the patient to experience its benefits. Some of the benefits that patients can feel after undergoing this therapy are improved sleep, mood, and mental alertness. They will also experience an increase in their energy levels.
PAP testing needs to be performed first before a patient is prescribed to use a PAP device. This process is necessary as it determines the air pressure levels needed. It also determines what kind of device is capable of delivering it. On the other hand, there have also been cases wherein an AutoPAP device is used instead. This kind of device automatically adjusts the pressure to the appropriate level, but its use should only be recommended by a sleep specialist. Also, although there are patients who were more comfortable with using this device, it can also be more expensive than other PAP devices.