If you, or someone you know uses a CPAP machine, you may be wondering how it works, and how often you have to use it to see results.
In addition, you may be questioning if you need to use the CPAP machine every night.
Luckily, we are here to answer any of your questions regarding CPAP machines, and how to use them.
What is a CPAP machine for?
A CPAP machine is used to help people breathe better at night during sleep. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy, and is a machine placed on the face of people with obstructive sleep apnea, to help them breathe easily during sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea can lead people to suffer with interruptions to their breathing, or can even put them at risk of airways closing and collapsing, which can be detrimental to their health.
Instead, the CPAP machine can provide a steady flow of oxygen into the nose and mouth, to help users breathe freely.
The CPAP machine will work to increase the air pressure, so that the airway is clear and does not collapse in any way, or the user does not struggle to breathe.
Should I use my CPAP machine every night?
If you have obstructive sleep disorder, then you will most likely have been offered a continuous positive airway pressure machine to treat the issue.
With the previous question in mind, it is clear that a CPAP machine is essential for users’ health. Therefore, it is best to use the CPAP machine every night as instructed by your doctor.
You should use your CPAP machine every night, as this will prevent any symptoms of your sleep apnea from returning.
The CPAP is designed to help you get proper restorative sleep, and to no longer suffer from any breathing issues, so it is paramount that you utilize the treatment every single night if possible.
Without your CPAP machine, you may find that you do not sleep well, or feel exhausted the next morning.
This can have lasting effects on your mood, energy levels and ability to focus and concentrate. You may also suffer from anxiety, depression or stress, as a lack of sleep can have a huge effect on your mental health.
In addition, sufferers of sleep apnea are at greater risk of sudden cardiac arrest, low oxygen levels, and high blood pressure.
All of these can be very dangerous for those who have sleep apnea, so it is important that you continue the treatment, as use it every night as instructed.
Can you skip a night of CPAP?
If you are a CPAP user, then you may be wondering what the issues are concerning skipping a night of using your CPAP machine.
You may want to avoid the CPAP if you have a common cold, or are travelling away for a night, and do not want to take your machine and all of its components with you. However, you may be concerned about the risks that this entails.
The good news is that not using your CPAP machine for just one night will not put your health greatly at risk, as sleep apnea can be a long term health problem rather than something that would kill or harm you overnight.
Much like many health conditions, it is the persistent and extensive exposure to the problem that will be dangerous to your health, rather than just one night where you skip treatment.
That being said, you should continue the treatment as soon as possible to reduce the risk of struggling to breathe.
If you do decide to skip a night of CPAP therapy, then this will not have a detrimental effect on your health, however, your breathing may return to the way it was before you started using the treatment.
Sleep apnea is not a short term risk, but more of a long term health issue that needs persistent treatment.
This means that one night without your CPAP machine will not kill you, or provoke further issues, but you should stick to the treatment, and get back to using the CPAP machine as soon as possible, to reap the long term health benefits.
If you do have any concerns about your sleep apnea treatment, and have serious tendencies to avoid the CPAP therapy, then you should seek the advice of a medical professional or a certified sleep medicine specialist.
This way, you can discuss any changes or alterations that may be suitable for your needs.
Damon Wiseley is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist.