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Sleep apnea diagnosis: What’s next?

Your sleep apnea diagnosis can be daunting, especially when it comes to understanding what this means. The first thing you should know is that you’re not alone. In fact, the most common sleep disorder (Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA), affects 25% of adult males and 10% of adult females.1

What this diagnosis means

Now that you know your diagnosis, it mean you should only get better. There are several treatment options available. 

Treating sleep apnea

Fortunately, safe treatment is not only available, but thanks to advances in medical technology, people with sleep apnea can enjoy a variety of therapy options unheard of even a decade ago.

Among the four main treatment options for those diagnosed with sleep apnea:

  1. CPAP therapy
  2. Oral appliances
  3. Weight loss
  4. Surgery

CPAP therapy is by far the most frequently prescribed3 for moderate to severe sleep apnea sufferers. And today’s range of CPAP masks includes a wide variety of options to ensure maximum comfort and minimum disruption to your daily lifestyle and personal comfort levels.

CPAP masks for sleep apnea

Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, is a sleep apnea treatment system that consists of a mask that’s fitted over the nose and/or mouth. The mask is connected to an airflow generator that draws in air and pushes it gently into your upper airway. This air works to keep the airway open, preventing the “collapsing” of the throat that causes sleep apnea.

The idea of sleeping with a sleep apnea mask can be intimidating for some. But in reality, this type of apnea therapy is safe and non-invasive—as opposed to drugs or surgery, which can have a much more significant impact on health, appearance and comfort.

Today, sleep apnea mask manufacturers offer a wide range of treatment options that include small, lightweight and nonintrusive masks.

The three main types of CPAP masks are:

  1. Nasal CPAP masks, which cover the nose
  2. Full face CPAP masks, which cover the nose and mouth
  3. Nasal CPAP pillow masks, which rest at the base of the nose and are the smallest and lightest mask type

The adjustment process for each person when starting CPAP therapy is unique. Most users will require a period of adjustment. Therefore, the most important recommendation for anyone starting CPAP therapy is to not give up4.

Many people diagnosed with sleep apnea experience positive results shortly after starting CPAP therapy, but many others give up too soon. “You may need to try more than one type of mask to find one that’s comfortable,” reports the Mayo Clinic5. “Some people benefit from also using a humidifier along with their CPAP system.”

We hope this article has helped you to understand  what cause sleep apnea and how it’s treated. To improve your situation, it can help to understand the different ways to treat sleep apnea. Download the “7 ways to treat sleep apnea” for a comprehensive overview of how you might be able to improve your sleep.

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References:

  1. Sleep loss and sleep disorders. Med J Aust 2013; https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2013/199/8/sleep-loss-and-sleep-disorders
  2. 7 Ways Sleep Apnea can Hurt Your Health. WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/sleep-apnea-conditions
  3. Treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep Health Foundation: http://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/fact-sheets-a-z/
  4. Sleep and CPAP Adherence. National Sleep Foundation: https://sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/sleep-and-cpap-adherence
  5. Sleep Apnea Definition. Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/basics/definition/con-20020286