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Before Using a CPAP MachineAfter Using a CPAP MachineFAQS
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Before and After Using a CPAP Machine: Did It Change My Life?

Aug 23, 2023
· 7 mins read

CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, especially for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common type. The proper use of a CPAP machine can improve your quality of life and decrease the impact that sleep apnea can have in your future health.

Continue reading to learn more about how CPAP treatment can change your life for the better.

Before Using a CPAP Machine

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the person continuously stops and starts breathing again several times through the night. This condition is more common in men and people with obesity.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, or if you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, your healthcare provider will most likely recommend continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP therapy) as one of the best treatment options available.

Some of the most common symptoms that sleep apnea patients experience when they don’t receive proper sleep apnea treatment are:

Daytime sleepiness

This is the most common symptom of sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea have frequent interruptions in their sleep, which results in an inability to remain fully awake or alert during the day.

before and after using a cpap machine

Loud snoring or gasping for air during sleep

These symptoms are usually noticed by the person’s sleep partner. Snoring happens when the soft tissue of the back of the throat collapses and vibrates with breathing, and gasping for air is the result of a drop in blood oxygen levels, which happens because air doesn’t come into the lungs during apnea episodes, and this forces the body to start breathing again. Both of these can result in having a dry mouth upon waking up.

Morning headaches

Sleep apnea episodes can decrease blood flow to the brain and increase carbon dioxide levels. This causes headaches that get better throughout the day.

Mood swings

Poor sleep quality usually results in frequent mood swings and irritability that can harm the person’s interpersonal and professional relationships.

Decreased focus

People with sleep apnea often find it hard to focus for long periods of time, and they can also experience impaired memory in severe and prolonged cases of sleep apnea.

When untreated, sleep apnea can have a profound detrimental impact on a person’s quality of life. In the short term, it makes it difficult to perform daily tasks due to daytime sleepiness, which results in less optimal work/academic performance. It can also increase the risk of accidents, including car accidents.

In the long term, sleep apnea entails an increased risk of developing hypertension, or high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and depression. Sleep apnea is an important risk factor for physical and mental health conditions alike, and it must be addressed.

After Using a CPAP Machine

There are several treatment options for sleep apnea, from weight loss, to the use of CPAP machines and oral appliances at night, and even surgery of the upper airway. However, sleep medicine experts consider CPAP machines the most effective treatment for sleep apnea.

CPAP devices work by delivering pressurized air into a CPAP mask that covers the nose or the mouth and nose. The high air pressure helps keep the airway open, preventing sleep apnea episodes from happening. Your ideal pressure settings are going to depend on the results of the sleep study. This sleep study is also necessary to make the diagnosis of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

The effects of CPAP use can’t be overstated. They are truly life-changing for sleep apnea patients. Some of the most notorious effects of CPAP therapy are:

Better Sleep Quality

Some CPAP users report that they experience improved sleep quality since the first night of use. CPAP machines promote uninterrupted and restful sleep, leading to increased energy levels, improved mood, and better cognitive function during the day.

Improved Health

Repeated apnea episodes during the night place a burden on your cardiovascular system, and take a toll on your heart health. The proper use of CPAP machines reduces the workload of the heart during sleep.

CPAP treatment decreases the risk of heart disease and strokes in people with sleep apnea. CPAP therapy also helps decrease blood pressure, making the management of high blood pressure easier.

Increased Alertness and Productivity

CPAP users experience an improvement in their problem-solving abilities, overall performance in daily activities and their memory. Cognitive function improves the most when CPAP therapy is used continuously and for longer periods of time.

Skipping CPAP sessions may lead to some improvement in cognitive functions and alertness, but these benefits will be less significant compared to using your CPAP machine as prescribed.

Increased Mental Well-being

CPAP machine use can decrease the anxiety and depression symptoms caused by the sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality that usually comes with sleep apnea. It can also improve interpersonal relationships, as it decreases mood swings and irritability.

Fewer Male Reproductive Issues

Men with untreated sleep apnea often develop infertility related to multiple factors, such as impaired hormone production and erectile dysfunction. CPAP therapy helps normalize and protect the body’s reproductive function.

Healthier Pregnancy

Women are more likely to develop sleep apnea when pregnant. If this goes unnoticed and untreated, it can possibly increase  the risk of pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restriction, and gestational diabetes.

Weight Loss

CPAP use may help with weight loss, because it tends to increase the basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy our body uses to function, after prolonged use. However, some people may experience weight gain when they start using their CPAP machine, so you shouldn’t rely solely on it if you’re looking to lose weight.

Convenience

CPAP machines are comfortable and easy to use. They have become quieter and more user-friendly by adding easy-to-understand user interfaces and other features, such as humidifiers. This makes it easier for sleep apnea patients to comply with their treatment and get all the benefits of CPAP therapy.

At Sleeplay, you can find the most recognized CPAP brands in the industry, such as ResMed, Philips Respironics, Fisher & Paykel and more.

man with a CPAP machine

FAQS

What Is a CPAP Machine?

A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is a medical device that contains a motor and a filter that turns room air into pressurized air and delivers it through a CPAP mask into your nose, or your nose and mouth while you sleep, to help keep your airway open. 

What does a CPAP do?

CPAP machine operates by continuously delivering a stream of air at a predetermined pressure, helping to keep the airways open and prevent obstruction. This device improves the regularity of breathing, reduces episodes of apnea and snoring, and contributes to maintaining optimal oxygen levels in the blood. Ultimately, the CPAP promotes more restful sleep by addressing respiratory difficulties, thereby enhancing overall sleep quality and the well-being of the user.

Can a CPAP Help You Lose Weight?

CPAP machine may contribute to weight loss. This is because CPAP usage tends to increase the basal metabolic rate, which is the energy the body expends to perform basic functions, after prolonged use. However, it's important to note that some individuals may initially experience weight gain when they start using their CPAP machine.

While CPAP therapy may have a positive impact on weight loss for some individuals, it's crucial not to rely solely on it as a weight loss strategy. Weight management involves a combination of factors, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and other healthy lifestyle choices. Therefore, incorporating CPAP therapy as part of an overall health and wellness plan may be beneficial, but it should not be the sole method for achieving weight loss goals.

How long does it take for CPAP to work?

CPAP's effectiveness can vary among individuals, and the time it takes to experience noticeable effects may differ. However, some users report improvements in sleep quality and daytime alertness shortly after starting CPAP therapy, while others may take more time to adapt. Consistent and long-term use is typically recommended to achieve optimal benefits. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance on CPAP therapy and its potential impact on your specific sleep-related concerns.

How to Use a CPAP Machine

If you have been recently prescribed CPAP therapy, using your CPAP machine may seem challenging at first, but with some guidance, you’ll realize that putting a CPAP machine to work is quite an easy process.

The steps you should follow when using your CPAP machine are:

 

1)Find a good place near your bed to place your CPAP machine.

 

2)Check your machine’s filter and replace it, if needed.

 

3)Attach the hose to the CPAP machine and to your mask.

 

4)Adjust your CPAP mask so it fits comfortably on your face.

 

5)Make sure the pressure settings are appropriate for your sleep apnea needs.

 

6)Turn on the CPAP machine.

 

7)Enjoy your night of high-quality sleep.

 

If you are experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, you can take our sleep apnea test to assess your symptoms. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our in-house sleep specialists to take our very own Home Sleep Test, and get your CPAP prescription to improve your quality of life and quality of sleep.

Sleeplay is here to assist you in your journey to find a CPAP machine that’s right for you. Check out our online store to see the best CPAP machines and accessories to enhance your CPAP experience.

Medically reviewed: Gabriela Alvarado

Medical Doctor from the Central University of Venezuela. She holds certifications in Public Health Practice from institutions such as Johns Hopkins University (USA) and Imperial College London (UK).

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