Do you go to sleep every night thinking you are going to wake up rejuvenated and refreshed, but you wake up feeling more exhausted than ever? You may struggle with OSA or otherwise known as obstructive sleep apnea. OSA occurs when the muscles that support the soft tissues in your throat, such as your tongue or soft palate, temporarily relax. When those muscles relax, your airway is narrowed or closed, and your breathing is momentarily cut off. There are mild, moderate, and severe classifications of obstructive sleep apnea. A CPAP machine helps when you temporarily stop breathing in the night, by opening your airways up and allowing for a restful night’s sleep.
Common Symptoms of OSA
The diagnosis gap for obstructive sleep apnea is greater for women than men because it presents itself differently in women. Women are less likely to be told they snore or to complain of fatigue. Women also often tend to have associated symptoms such as depression or restless leg syndrome, and that makes a straightforward diagnosis difficult. Some common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea may include:
· Morning headaches
· Witnessed apneas
· Unrefreshing sleep
· Frequent trips to the bathroom at night
Parts of your CPAP Machine
There are many different moving parts that go into the effectiveness of your CPAP machine. Your CPAP machine consists of the motor, hose, tubing elbow, mask, headgear, and straps. The motor to your machine is the piece that sits on your bedside table, it generates a continuous stream of pressurized air. The pressurized air then travels through the hose which is connected to the mask. The tubing elbow is helpful in allowing the direction between the hose tubing and machine to be angled so that kinks and tugging can be avoided. There are different types of masks to choose from, for example you can have one that goes over just your nose (nasal mask) or your nose and mouth (full face mask). The headgear and straps are adjustable so that your mask stays in the correct position and is effective.
What Does My CPAP Machine Do When I Stop Breathing?
If you have sleep apnea, your breathing can potentially be affected for 10 to 30 second per event. Since the relaxed muscles blocking the airway can go limp during sleep, your CPAP machine works by supplying a continuous stream of pressurized air that travels through the filter and tubing, which connects to the airway via the CPAP mask. Ultimately, when you are using your CPAP machine, your muscles are no longer blocking the flow of oxygen. Cleaning and sanitizing your machine are also important if you want it to continue working properly. After purchasing your CPAP machine, you will also want to think about purchasing the best CPAP cleaner and sanitizer.
Adapting to CPAP Therapy
CPAP therapy takes a little while to get used to but is worth it in the end. There are many advantages to CPAP therapy that will allow you to live an overall better life if you struggle with sleep apnea. You must be consistent and use your CPAP machine nightly to achieve the best results. Here is some reason why someone may fail to consistently use their machine:
· A poorly fitting mask
· Cannot tolerate the air pressure
· Swallowing air, which can lead to gas, bloating and overall discomfort
· Humidification issues (or lack thereof) which can lead to an irritated throat
Thankfully, most of these issues can be addressed by adjusting the setting on your machine. There may be moments when you have to adjust your machine so that this form of treatment continues to work for you.
The Relief you are Looking For
Overall, your CPAP machine can turn out to be your best friend when it comes to improving your overall health and lifestyle. This machine works so that you don’t have to! When your nasal muscles collapse and cause you to have an apnea, your machine will do the work for you by opening your airways back up. This will then allow you to have a restful night’s sleep and get you back to feel rejuvenated and refreshed in the mornings!
Written by Hollee Mattei