It is estimated that almost 18 million American adults have obstructive sleep apnea. But only 40% ever undergo CPAP treatment.
If you are one of the remaining 60%, then you have probably heard about CPAP before but maybe you are unclear about the way it works or unsure whether it is the right thing for you.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is the most common and effective treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. A CPAP device gently blows pressurized air into your airway which keeps it open and allows you to sleep uninterrupted.
Despite the effectiveness of the therapy, it is surrounded by many myths which may partly be due to the fact that it involves the usage of a mask that is connected by a hose to the device.
In this article, we help debunk some of the myths that surround CPAP and separate fact from fiction.
It is very hard to use a CPAP machine continually for the rest of your life
It is very easy to get adjusted to the CPAP mask and the device. It does take time and patience. But it is not impossible by a long shot. Once you get used to the device, you will actually start to experience the positive effects and will never go back to earlier phase.
The hose will get tangled as I turn in my sleep
There are a plethora of hose management products including hose hangers that will allow you to sleep peacefully without the hose getting tangled around your neck.
CPAP machines are loud
Newer CPAP machines are compact and silent (less than 30db). The only sound in the room will be your snoring – if you do not use the machine that is.
CPAP masks can cause scars on the face
CPAP masks are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and designs. Not all of them cover or touch the whole face. Nasal Pillows are minimalistic in design and extend from the upper lip to the bridge of the nose. And no, they won’t cause scars.
I will die if the device stops working
If there is a power failure or if the device stops working for some reason, you will be able to breathe room air normally. It won’t kill you.
All CPAP machines are the same.
CPAP devices vary in features. Some have advanced features like RAMP, PRE and a heated humidifier to prevent nasal dryness. Not all machines are the same.
The cost for testing and treating sleep apnea won’t be covered by insurance
Testing and therapy for OSA is covered by most insurance companies. Speak to your insurance provider to know more details about this.
I can get better sleep by drinking alcohol
Alcohol may make you drowsy and help you fall asleep sooner. But it may actually worsen the symptoms of your sleep apnea. Also, it reduces an important stage of your sleep called Rapid Eye Movement (REM).
If I lose weight, I won’t need CPAP
Wrong. It may be a part of the solution. But Obstructive Sleep Apnea is not caused by obesity alone. So you may still need to undergo CPAP therapy.
I am too old to start using CPAP devices
You can start CPAP therapy at any age and enjoy the positive changes it will make to your life.