For individuals who suffer from severe obstructive sleep apnea, a CPAP machine or BiPAP machine is an absolute must. By providing pressurized air through a mask for the entire night, these machines keep the body’s airways from collapsing and cutting off your oxygen supply.
For those who suffer from severe sleep apnea, this can dramatically reduce the frequency and severity of sleep apnea episodes. The result is more restful sleep, and the avoidance of chronic fatigue and the many health complications that go along with it.
While CPAP machines are pretty much always recommended for severe sleep apnea, those who experience mild symptoms may wonder if they actually need such a device. Here is what you should know.
What is Mild Sleep Apnea?
Mild sleep apnea doesn’t refer to how badly your airways are blocked when muscles collapse during sleep. Instead, it references how frequently you experience these interruptions to your breathing during the night. The range for mild sleep apnea is typically considered to be five to 15 sleep apnea events per hour. More than 15 breathing interruptions per hour will classify your sleep apnea as either moderate or severe. Of course, even mild sleep apnea means that your breathing is getting interrupted every few minutes, which can have big consequences.
As with more severe forms of obstructive sleep apnea, those who experience mild sleep apnea often snore loudly and consistently enough to bother their partner. They may feel drowsy during the day. You also become more likely to develop high blood pressure.
While snoring and feelings of fatigue may not be as severe as others experience, they are still a cause for concern. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, you should schedule a sleep study as soon as possible to get a confirmed diagnosis and begin a treatment plan. Left alone, sleep apnea will often worsen.
Is a CPAP Machine Really Necessary?
When one’s sleep apnea is mild, they may think that they don’t actually need a CPAP machine. But even if you don’t have severe symptoms, a CPAP machine can still make a significant difference for your sleep quality and overall well-being.
A recent study in the United Kingdom evaluated 301 individuals who had been diagnosed with mild sleep apnea, comparing outcomes for those who used a CPAP machine to individuals who only underwent sleep counseling. Using a validated questionnaire, the researchers found that using a CPAP machine was able to significantly improve overall quality of life in comparison to the control group.
Based on the results of this study, it would seem that even those who have only mild symptoms would do well to consider using a CPAP machine. The more consistent sleep will help you feel better rested, and starting CPAP therapy now could help you avoid more severe long-term health consequences later.
Of course, with mild sleep apnea, a CPAP machine isn’t your only option. CPAP therapy can be even more effective when paired with other treatments and lifestyle changes.
Other Treatment Options
There are several additional treatment options and lifestyle changes that can make a difference for those with mild sleep apnea. Making these changes now can even help you avoid developing more severe sleep apnea later on. Naturally, such lifestyle changes will prove most effective when paired with the use of a CPAP machine.
Your own sleep habits should be your primary focus. For example, sleeping on your side rather than on your back has been found to reduce frequency of sleep apnea episodes. Trying to follow a consistent sleep schedule (even on the weekends) can also help you sleep better.
If you suffer from allergies or other medical conditions that result in frequent congestion, use medication to treat these issues. You should also avoid alcohol or other depressants (including sleeping pills) in the hours before bedtime. While these may help you fall asleep faster, they can actually reduce the quality of your sleep and increase the frequency of sleep apnea episodes.
Finally, take steps to control your weight. Being overweight is believed to be one of the primary contributors to obstructive sleep apnea. When your sleep apnea is still mild, even losing just five pounds could reduce its severity. A healthy diet and consistent exercise will also help you lower your risk for many of the other health problems commonly associated with sleep apnea.
Improve Your Sleep With a CPAP Machine
Regardless of the severity of your sleep apnea, a CPAP machine can make a big difference for your overall quality of life. Help Medical Supplies is here to help you afford the equipment you need for your treatment, even if you don’t have insurance.
To help you save, we offer bundle packages that pair a new CPAP device with essential accessories like a mask and extra tubing and filters. We offer significant discounts on devices from top brands like Philips Respironics and ResMed, and buyers can save even more with our certified refurbished products. Available financing and free shipping on orders over $89 will also help make your treatment more affordable.
You don’t have to let sleep apnea disrupt your life. Regardless of how severe your sleep apnea is, taking steps to control this condition will help you have more energy for the things you love, and even help you reduce your risk for serious health problems like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Every effort counts, so order your CPAP machine today and see what a difference it can make for your sleep!