Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea, or suspect that you suffer from it? If so, then a CPAP machine could be the recommended therapy for you. But do you know what CPAP is and how it can help your sleep and overall health? Here are some of the basics.
What is sleep apnea? It is a condition where your airways close while you sleep. This happens many, many times during the night, causing your body to wake up and restart breathing – even without your realizing it. However, when this happens every night, every week, every month, you gradually become more and more tired and irritable. This can lead to more serious conditions that will affect your health if left untreated.
The use of a CPAP machine can stop this. CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, is a machine that sends gently pressurized air through your airways while you sleep. Your airways stay open, thereby ending the frequent interruptions and a disrupted sleep.
What does a CPAP machine consist of? The basics include a mask that, using straps, covers your some or all of your face. Tubes connect to a machine that sends the pressurized air to your mask.
You can also get accessories. These can include longer tubes if you tend to toss and turn, a humidifier to warm the air in case you are prone to allergies, and even electronics so that you can monitor your sleep and make adjustments where needed.
A doctor or sleep specialist is the person who can diagnose your condition and prescribe a CPAP machine for you. You can find local suppliers who can help you choose from the various makes, models, and prices to find the combination that works best for you.
Once you have your CPAP machine, you need to use it every night to gain its benefits. This can take some getting used to. If you need to change any component of your CPAP machine, just go back to your supplier.
Of course you need to clean your machine to keep it working properly. Hand wash all parts in warm soapy water and air dry. Replace parts that are cracked and torn, and update any item that is out of date, as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Once you start using your CPAP machine, you get back to enjoying life again.
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