According to sleep study experts, approximately 18 million Americans are affected by a disorder known as sleep apnea. A serious condition that can potentially affect your health, sleep apnea causes pauses in your breathing that can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Such pauses can occur at a minimum of 30 times per hour before your breathing returns to normal, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. In some severe cases, obstructive sleep apnea sufferers may experience up to 60 stops per hour during an average night’s sleep. One solution to treating these sleep disruptions is a ResMed CPAP machine.
A CPAP machine, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, is designed to open your airways, reduce snoring, and make breathing during sleep easier. Components of a ResMed CPAP machine include an air pump that pressurizes air from the room; a chamber that humidifies the air; a mask to use over your nose or nose and mouth; and a strap and tube that connects your mask to the CPAP machine.
As a CPAP machine functions, the air pump draws air from whichever room you’re sleeping in, then cleans it from any impurities such as dust, pollen, or smoke. The humidification chamber within the CPAP mixes the air with warm water to deliver moisture to your nasal and airway passages, providing relief from a dry mouth or throat. Tubing connects from the CPAP machine to your mask, which helps you to breathe in the clean air so that you have a restful sleep.
Medical experts recommend using a ResMed CPAP machine each night to keep sleep apnea symptoms from returning. However, some patients stop using the machine after three weeks, according to research. Other statistics show that around 80% of sleep apnea patients don’t use their CPAP often enough, which can result in the recurrence of snoring, breathing pauses, and sleep deprivation, to name a few.
Long-term effects of sleep apnea can affect cardiovascular health. For example, those who have the disorder are three times more likely to develop heart disease, especially if the sleep apnea goes untreated. In addition, the risk of suffering a stroke increases by four times for a person with undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea. Furthermore, the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research states that nearly 40,000 deaths occur each year due to heart problems associated with sleep apnea.
Common complaints about using a CPAP machine include improper mask fit and overall discomfort. A ResMed CPAP machine offers masks of different sizes, along with related accessories for comfort. In addition to masks that cover the nose and mouth, there are nasal masks, also known as nasal pillows, that cover just the nasal passages. Either way, preferences for CPAP devices appear to be nearly split, with 50% of patients opting for nasal pillows, approximately 45% going for the full masks, and around 5% not having a preference. Regardless, experts recommend that patients use their ResMed CPAP machine at least 70% of the time every month for best results.