OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. The severity of the sleep-disordered breathing affects the treatment. Mild apnea patients have many alternatives, however moderate-to-severe apnea patients should be treated with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
Conservative nonsurgical treatment includes general and behavioral strategies such as weight loss, abstaining from drinking for 4-6 hours before bedtime, and sleeping on one’s side rather than stomach or back. Both weight reduction and positioning therapy were graded as “guidelines” in a 2006 practice parameter, indicating a patient treatment strategy with a reasonable level of evidence.
Reduced snoring is one of the most noticeable benefits of CPAP therapy. However, there are a slew of other health benefits that aren’t so obvious—or audible.
7 Benefits of CPAP Therapy
1. You’ll be more aware and awake.
Sleep apnea, also known as obstructive sleep apnea, causes you to lose sleep or not receive enough restorative sleep. CPAP therapy alleviates many of the respiratory issues that disrupt your sleep, allowing you to wake up feeling more refreshed. Getting more sleep can help you focus at work, maintain your energy throughout the day, and even lower your risk of depression.
2. You have a lower chance of being involved in an automobile accident.
The tiredness that comes with sleep apnea can have an impact on more than just your mood—it can also impair your ability to drive. According to studies, driving while fatigued is similar to driving after a few drinks. The same research also discovered that using a CPAP machine reduces your chances of being involved in a car accident caused by tiredness.
3. You might be able to control your high blood pressure.
A rising number of research relate sleep apnea to high blood pressure. More than 70% of persons with difficult-to-treat hypertension have sleep apnea. Sticking to CPAP treatment, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to assist these people significantly lower their blood pressure.
4. You might be able to reduce your chances of having a stroke.
Sleep apnea is linked to an increased risk of stroke. While there hasn’t been much research on whether CPAP therapy can prevent a first stroke, it has been demonstrated in multiple studies to lessen the risk of a second stroke. Nonetheless, the American Heart Association believes it is fair to believe that using a CPAP machine can assist prevent a first stroke.
5. You can lower your chances of developing other cardiovascular issues.
Aside from high blood pressure and stroke, sleep apnea has been associated to a number of heart problems, including:
- Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
- Bradycardia (slow heart beat)
- Coronary artery disease (also known as heart disease)
- Heart failure
6. You might keep your mind sharper for longer.
Many of these issues can be avoided or managed if your sleep apnea is treated with CPAP therapy.
For the first time, a 2011 study discovered that sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) can cause cognitive impairment and dementia. More research has now emerged indicating that CPAP therapy for SDB can potentially delay the onset of moderate cognitive impairment. CPAP has also been shown to help people with Alzheimer’s disease avoid cognitive impairment.
7. Your sex life could be improved.
About 12% of men under the age of 60 suffer from erectile dysfunction, whereas 20% to 30% of those over 60 suffer from it. Sleep apnea is also linked to it. However, studies have shown that using CPAP therapy to treat sleep apnea can help some men reclaim their sexual function.