If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, chances are you have a lot of questions. As you may already know, sleep apnea is a disorder that causes the airway to close while you're sleeping, which is incredibly dangerous for your health. But once you've been diagnosed with this condition, what can you do about it? Here's your answer.
For the vast majority of people, doctors will recommend a CPAP - or continuous positive airway pressure - machine to use at night when you sleep to combat sleep apnea.
How it Works
CPAP machines are like a small little box that's plugged into your electrical source and has tubes coming out of it. Attached to these tubes is a face mask that you'll put on when you go to sleep. This mask isn't quite the same as an intubator or an oxygen mask, however. CPAP machines are designed to provide constant pressure to your airway with a flow of air. This flow of air enters your nose and mouth all night long, pushing your airway open and keeping it effectively inflated while you sleep at night. This prevents your airway from collapsing and keeping you from breathing, which should lead to better quality sleep and a reduction in symptoms you may have been having from sleep apnea, like grogginess, throat pain, and loud snoring.
What You Should Do
CPAP machines can only work so long as you're using them, and you must commit to wearing one every single night. You need to understand that when your airway collapses, it starves your entire body for oxygen. The only way your airway opens up is when your body becomes so desperate for air, that it wakes you up and you cough and choke until your airway is open again. But as soon as you fall asleep, it'll close, repeating the process. Some people have sleep apnea that gets so bad that they develop brain damage because their brain is effectively starved of oxygen every single night.
With a CPAP machine, you don't have to worry about any of this anymore while you sleep. Oxygen will continue to flow to your body and brain. While it may not be the sexiest thing you've ever worn, it'll get the job done and you'll be able to rest knowing that you're not in danger of literally dying in your sleep from being unable to breathe.Share