Many undiagnosed people are aware of the symptoms of sleep apnea – being tired, irritable, lack of concentration, weight gain etc. However, they are unaware that they could actually be suffering from it. Many times a spouse or bed partner complains about their partners loud snoring or becomes worried about the frequent lapses in breathing. This may prompt a discussion about potentially suffering from sleep apnea. Preferably, this discussion would lead to a sleep test. If should lead to a diagnosis for sleep apnea and CPAP therapy, it is important for the person to fully understand its benefits.
With the correct initial approach, it is possible to help users increase their knowledge base and develop a better understanding about sleep apnea and its treatment. Improving the patient’s understanding and knowledge of the condition can greatly increase the chances that a person will comply with the doctor’s prescription of a CPAP machine. It is highly useful for future compliance that a user get acquainted and comfortable with the machine at an early stage in the treatment.
In addition, it is useful for bed partner’s to also be knowledgeable about the treatment and the CPAP equipment not only for support but to be able to help when needed.
Beginning Sleep Therapy
Most patients are introduced to a CPAP machine and CPAP mask at an early point during their sleep testing sequence. Ideally, the patient should be given ample time to understand how the machine functions and how the various settings work. It is also very useful to ask questions and experiment with different types of masks and headgear to determine what adjustments should be made. It’s necessary for the user to completely understand what to expect during each night on CPAP. Equally important is for the user to understand the long term benefits of CPAP therapy.
The first few weeks of CPAP use is a critical time in sleep therapy. During this time, a person will likely develop biases and habits which can create either positive or negative reactions to CPAP. Thus, it is important that favorable, best practices are used to produce a positive experience. It is also beneficial for the CPAP user to continue discussions with both the doctor and equipment provider to help alleviate any issues or discomfort and make any necessary changes.
Doctors will typically suggest a follow up visit during the first few months of CPAP therapy. Most new CPAP machines have the ability to capture sleep data which can then be downloaded and reviewed. This information gives the doctor the ability to analyze results as well as evaluate the CPAP machine settings and make adjustments where necessary. It also is an excellent opportunity for the CPAP user to discuss any questions or concerns that might have arisen during therapy. If the doctor is not knowledgeable about the specific equipment (especially various CPAP mask choices), it’s best to contact the equipment provider who should be able to provide more insight on CPAP supplies.
Overall, it is important for CPAP users to continue with a positive attitude and remain encouraged about the benefits of using a CPAP machine. By sticking to a routine, positive results should be noticed relatively quickly with consistent and optimal CPAP use.
Larry Chandler is a freelance writer for The CPAP Shop a provider of CPAP machines or CPAP masks. To learn more about CPAP Supplies, visit their website at Thecpapshop.com.
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