Who gets sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs in all age groups and both sexes but is more common in men (it may be underdiagnosed in women) and people over 40 years of age. People most likely to have or develop sleep apnea include those who snore loudly and also are overweight, have high blood pressure, or have some physical abnormality of the nose, throat, or other parts of the upper airway.
Can sleep apnea be cured or will it go away?
In some individuals, sleep apnea is reversible. Treatments such as weight loss or surgery may correct the problem. However, for most people, sleep apnea will always be present and require treatment. Generally, a CPAP, oral appliance, or positional device will need to be used every night to get the quality sleep your body needs and to prevent the serious complications of sleep apnea.
What happens to my body when I have an apnea?
- An apnea in the simplest terms is when you stop breathing. Your body responds to an apnea in several ways.
- The lack of airflow causes the oxygen levels in your blood to drop.
- As a result, your pulse rate increases, trying to get more oxygenated blood to your body.
- Your brain will rouse itself so that your body adjusts and re-opens your airway.
- This awakening keeps your body from reaching the deeper restorative parts of sleep.
This can leave you with a weakened immune system and many other serious health complications.
It also can cause a hormone imbalance as sleep deprivation causes the release of stress hormones which harm your body.
I get a dry mouth. What can I do to prevent this?
Increasing the humidifier settings on your machine will add more moisture to the air and can help with dry nose and mouth. Also, using a water-based gel can also help with any drying.
My CPAP is making my face sore. Is there anything I can do?
Your mask may be too tight. Loosen the straps slightly and test to make sure you have no major leaks. You can also protect your skin by putting moleskin or a fabric band-aid on the area where it is becoming sore.
Why is my CPAP mask leaking every night?
This can be caused by several things.
First, The mask could be on incorrectly or not properly adjusted to your head. Double check to see if you are putting it on correctly, and readjust the straps if needed. And remember, under tightening and overtightening can both cause leaks.
Second, do you wipe with a clean washcloth or mask wipe every day? Maintaining the cushion materials is an important way to keep your mask fitting well. If you have trouble remembering to clean your mask regularly, consider using mask wipes or purchasing a UV light mask cleaner. These tools can really help your mask stay in tip-top shape.
Third, you could also be using an old mask. Masks should be replaced every 6 months. Over time the cushion material wears out and the straps lose their elasticity. You can submit an online supply request.
Lastly, if you continue having issues, call our office to schedule a mask fitting. We can help readjust your current mask or help you find a different style of mask.
I have been using a CPAP for a long time but have never replaced my supplies. How do I go about doing that?
Most insurance companies will cover replacement supplies every 3-6 months. Please call our office or complete an online supply request. As a curtsey, we will verify you are eligible for insurance to receive a new mask and that your prescription is current. We typically have supplies in the mail in 5-7 business days.
My new mask won’t attach to my tubing. Did I get the wrong supplies?
You may have left the coupler from your previous mask in the tubing. If the end of the tubing is a hard plastic, then that plastic piece needs to be removed before attaching to the new mask.
Why am I getting water in my mask and tubing?
It is possible that the water chamber was overfilled or that the humidifier was set too high. Check the water level and turn down the humidifier.