Coping With Using a CPAP Machine
Some people may feel anxious or concerned about starting CPAP therapy, and that’s okay. When told they need to keep a CPAP machine by the bed and wear a mask to manage their sleep issue, many persons diagnosed with sleep apnea feel a combination of relief and aggravation.
On the one hand, if you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may feel some comfort from knowing that your collection of symptoms has a name and a treatment plan. These symptoms can include a sore throat, daytime sleepiness, headaches, concentration problems, brain fog, and other similar concerns. When you first begin CPAP therapy, you may notice an immediate improvement in your quality of sleep, your energy levels, and your overall health.
On the other hand, adapting to the discomfort of a cpap machine and using it nightly for the rest of one’s life is a major lifestyle change. The bedroom is the most private place in the house, yet you still need to bring in some form of durable medical equipment. The bulky CPAP machine and its accompanying tubing and face mask are points of attention that won’t go unnoticed.
Now, every time you take a trip, you’ll need to pack your CPAP machine, too, so be prepared to allocate some additional room in your bags. Visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/sleep-apnoea for more about CPAP therapy.
If you’ve never used any kind of medical equipment before, it’s normal to feel a little out of sorts while you adjust to these new routines. Using a CPAP machine and mask during the first several weeks or months of treatment might feel like an invasive intrusion, disrupting long-established routines and rituals.
Not Able to Adjust to Wearing the CPAP Mask?
For some patients, the most challenging aspect of CPAP therapy is not the machine’s fit or the hassle of finding a suitable location. CPAP therapy might be difficult to adjust to for some people because they are having a hard time accepting that they have sleep apnea on an emotional or mental level. Learn more about Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
Some people with apnea may experience shame or guilt when they realise they require a machine to help them get some rest each night. They would rather not be labelled as having sleep apnea because of the stigma it brings.
In this article, we will discuss some of the more prevalent psychological obstacles that prevent people from using CPAP and provide counterarguments to help you change your mind and start benefiting from the therapy.
First, “I Appear to Be Very Ill When Using the CPAP.”
Bringing a piece of tube-connected durable medical equipment home and setting it up next to your bed can be intimidating and upsetting, even for a person in generally good condition. Upon first glance, you could associate it with hospitals and breathing machines.
However, it is important to remember the widespread nature of obstructive sleep apnea in the Australia and elsewhere. Those who suffer with OSA are not alone. About 15% of the adult population in Australia has been diagnosed with OSA, and an unknown number suffers from some kind of sleep apnea that has not yet been identified. Sleep apnea is quite prevalent, but with the appropriate treatment, it is easily treatable.
In reality, apnea is not a disease but rather a fairly common and curable sleep disorder. However, you run the risk of being ill if you don’t use the CPAP as prescribed. Damage to the brain, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, the risk of stroke, diabetes, and depression are just some of the consequences of untreated sleep apnea over time.
Keep in mind that you can always store the CPAP machine away in a drawer when it’s not in use, so it doesn’t have to take up valuable space next to your bed. However, continue to make use of it.
Second, “Apnea Is Only Found in Fat People.”
Hearing that you have sleep apnea can be as devastating as hearing that you are overweight to some people. There are in fact three distinct forms of apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea.
Obese persons are more likely to have OSA because of the extra fat in their neck and throat, but being overweight is not a prerequisite for developing the illness. Apnea affects people of all sizes. Some drugs, alcohol use before bed, cigarette usage, and specific sleeping postures have all been linked to OSA.
It might even be completely out of your hands. It’s possible that your nasal passageways, jaw, or throat anatomy increases your risk of obstructive sleep apnea. It’s also possible that you have excess tissue in your soft palate, which closes down your airway when you’re sleeping. Your issue might also have genetic underpinnings or be related to the onset of menopause.
One must remember that obstructive sleep apnea is only one type of the disorder. When your brain stops sending signals to your diaphragm, you have central sleep apnea. It has nothing to do with body mass index unless your BMI is high and you also have another ailment that is associated with central apnea (such as heart failure or chronic kidney failure). There are a number of potential causes of central sleep apnea, including neurological disorders, other medical conditions, drugs, and even elevation changes.
Keep in mind that the chance of developing apnea is affected by a wide variety of circumstances. Hearing that you need to use a CPAP machine while you sleep is not always a reflection on your size or your dietary and exercise routines.
However, if you are overweight, the CPAP mask might help you in your quest to improve your health. Gaining a healthy amount of sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight. If you have trouble staying at a healthy weight, think of the CPAP as a fitness tool on par with a treadmill or exercise cycle. Using a CPAP isn’t anything to be embarrassed about; rather, it’s a sign that you’re taking charge of your health and taking preventative measures.
Third, “It’s Embarrassing to Fly While Using a CPAP.”
There is no doubt that carrying a CPAP machine on a plane as carry-on luggage may be a hassle.
Before you pack your gear, make sure to verify the authority’s regulations. If you plan on using a CPAP machine on the plane, remember to bring your prescription and the necessary equipment.
Passing through security should go well as long as you’re well-prepared. Hundreds of CPAPs are screened by X-ray and by hand every day by TSA employees. Before boarding the plane with your CPAP, find out if you need special clearance from the airline. If you feel self-conscious about using the device while in flight, you may always cover yourself with a blanket or a hooded sweatshirt.
Fourth, I’m Old Because I Use a CPAP
It’s true that folks over the age of 40 are more likely to develop sleep apnea (men more than women). After age 60, the prevalence rate skyrockets.
An indicator of age, CPAP use is still not conclusive evidence of oldness. Actually, if you begin therapy and start sleeping better, you may feel and look younger than you are. You will probably improve your health.
What you look like and how you feel after the worst night’s sleep might give you some insight into how you could feel about your appearance as you age. Just try to picture it happening on a regular basis.