CPAP therapy for sleep apnea

When it comes to the long-term treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, doctors report a clear winner – the CPAP mask. For many years, it has helped thousands of sufferers to reduce or even completely eliminate their symptoms. This leads to a completely new quality of life and can specifically prevent the development of serious secondary diseases.

However, if you read up on the subject, you will often read negative reports on the internet and become unsettled. These often have their origin in mistakes in the use of the device. Don’t worry: We will give you an overview below and answer the most frequently asked questions about CPAP therapy.

Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea: What does this mean for me?

Before you were diagnosed with sleep apnea, you probably went to the doctor because you felt tired and worn out all day. You may have simply fallen asleep from exhaustion during long business meetings. Or your bedmate has complained about your regular and loud snoring. These are all typical signs of the disease.

This is what happens with sleep apnea

With sleep apnea, your breathing is restricted. There can be several reasons for this. For some, these are anatomical. For example, you may have a deviated septum or a misaligned jaw. Medication can also cause OSA. Other risk factors are obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle, especially regular nicotine consumption.

During sleep, repeated breathing pauses occur for at least ten seconds. In order to get your breath back, the brain centre then commands your body to wake up briefly in each of the sequences. You yourself do not notice these processes, but during the day the permanent sleep deprivation is all the more noticeable.

Why treatment is so important?

OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is the most common form of Sleep Apnea. It often makes normal everyday life impossible. Ordinary activities feel more burdensome than they are for sufferers. If the symptoms are simply ignored, you not only have a permanently increased risk of accidents, but you can also develop secondary diseases, some of them serious, over time. These include these:

  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Liver cirrhosis

Targeted apnea therapy protects your health in the long term and helps you to get a good night’s sleep again. If your doctor recommends CPAP therapy, you should give it a chance. It is the most reliable and quickest treatment method, even for severe forms of the disease.

What is CPAP?

The abbreviation CPAP stands for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”. CPAP devices supply people suffering from sleep apnea with a constantly set positive pressure via a CPAP mask. This prevents the patient’s airways from closing. Regular breathing without breathing pauses and a restful night’s sleep are thus fully restored.

In addition to the air pressure device, the CPAP set consists of a sleep mask and depending on its type, either encloses only the nose or both the mouth and nose. Another model consists of soft plastic end pieces, which in this case are inserted directly into the nose.

What does a CPAP machine do?

When used correctly, CPAP therapy has the following four benefits for sleep apnea patients in particular.

With ventilation, the tongue muscles remain active at the same time. This prevents the tongue from closing the airway, even when the sleeper is in the supine position. This greatly reduces breathing pauses or, ideally, they no longer happen at all.

The oxygen content of the blood increases. This means that you get more air (oxygen) during sleep.

Apnea patients often suffer from high blood pressure. Many years of experience with CPAP therapy show that ventilation with the CPAP mask has a positive effect here and causes the blood pressure to drop. This also minimises the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Treatment with the CPAP machine also improves snoring or, for some, even stops it altogether. The reason is simple, because the blocked airways also produce the familiar sound. This is also a positive and welcome side effect for your partner.

How long does it take for CPAP therapy to work?

This varies from person to person, which is not least related to the severity of the disease. Sometimes it is also the case that patients who have already suffered for a long time, feel an immediate improvement. When watching CPAP therapy videos, many people report that they feel like a new person after the therapy.

However, the prerequisite for successful therapy is consistently wearing the mask every night without interruption. Since sleep apnea is unfortunately not curable, CPAP therapy is always a lifelong process. However, the use of the device usually promises 100% control of the disease.

What disadvantages or problems can the form of treatment bring with it?

It cannot be denied that sleeping with the CPAP mask requires a certain amount of habituation. Most patients need about 1-2 weeks for this. Especially if they notice that there is a high increase in their well-being during the day, this usually outweighs the inhibition threshold of daily use.

Otherwise, these side effects have already been reported:

  • Unpleasant pressing of the mask
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry nasal mucous membranes
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Dry or inflamed eyes
  • Skin irritation on the face
  • Bloating or gas
  • Feeling of air in the chest
  • Claustrophobia

If you experience one or more of the situations listed above, please contact your doctor directly. As a rule, most of these problems can be dealt with quickly. Often the cause is misuse or misadjustment of the CPAP mask. Don’t worry, your doctor will certainly explain everything to you again calmly.

Is CPAP therapy suitable for me?

Generally, CPAP therapy for OSA is the preferred treatment for pulmonary specialists. Their success rate is very high. However, depending on the cause of sleep apnea, another treatment method may be more suitable for you. Alternative methods include, therapy with a lower jaw splint or a tongue pacemaker. If you suffer from severe malocclusion, for example in the area of your jaw, an operation could be the best solution for you.

After a thorough examination and discussion of your Sleepiz sleep apnea test results, your doctor will be able to tell you more about the best treatment option for you.

Test your apnea risk easily from home

As we all know, the diagnosis comes before therapy, so it is the first step in the right direction. Order your Sleepiz device today and you will quickly find out what your personal sleep apnea risk is.

If you have any questions about Sleepiz, our team will be happy to help you by phone or email. We look forward to accompanying you on your way to healthy sleep!