The journey toward using a CPAP machine can be a long one for many people. Over 20 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea, but most of these people have no idea this is what they suffer from. In fact, some statistics say that up to 80 percent of Americans living with sleep apnea are undiagnosed and trying to deal with the problem themselves. Many patients simply think they have trouble sleeping, and chalk this up to other causes like stress and poor diet.
In other cases, the patient has no trouble sleeping but they know they are not getting a restful and restorative sleep even if they spend all night in bed. This is because the underlying sleep apnea is stopping them from breathing properly and causing them to wake up in the middle of the most restful part of the sleep cycle.
How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Life
Lack of proper, restful sleep is one of the worst symptoms of sleep apnea, and one of the most common. Patients that suffer from sleep apnea have an airway that can collapse and stop breathing as they sleep, which causes the brain to wake the patient to keep airflow going. Other patients know that they snore loudly, but do not realize this is caused by the obstruction of the airway caused by sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can also disturb the people you love. Spouses often have a hard time sleeping next to a patient with sleep apnea, as they snore loudly and awaken several times in the night. Since the patient is awoken due to inability to breathe, they may gasp loudly or jerk suddenly awake, disturbing the other person.
Sufferers of sleep apnea can also be at a higher risk for other medical complications and conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart issues and issues with their metabolism.
How Do You Know If You Have Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is typically diagnosed by a doctor after a patient reported all or many of the following symptoms:
- Snoring that is excessively loud
- Gasping for air or failing to breathe during sleep, causing you to wake suddenly
- Morning headache, dry mouth and throat
- Trouble staying asleep and persistent sleepiness throughout the day
- Difficulty paying attention while awake, crankiness and constant need for naps
Once the doctor suspects a patient has sleep apnea, they may recommend a sleep study. During this process, the patient’s vital signs are monitored to see how they react throughout the night. The medical staff will watch the patient’s heart rate and oxygen levels. They monitor the airflow that is going through the patient’s body to see if it gets obstructed at any point.
After a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis: Finding Treatment
After being diagnosed, many patients try using a CPAP machine to help with the issues that arise as a result of sleep apnea. The CPAP, or Continuous positive airway pressure machine, provides extra support to the airway while the patient is sleeping. This helps to keep the airway open and stops sleep apnea symptoms that disrupt the patient’s rest. This is the most popular type of treatment prescribed to patients that suffer from sleep apnea thanks to the effectiveness of the CPAP machine.
How Do You Maintain and Clean a CPAP Machine?
Once a patient is comfortable with using a CPAP machine, it is important to begin maintenance of the unit to keep it effective. Cleaning the unit is important to eliminate anything that may grow within the unit, like:
Cleaning the unit by hand can take a lot of time and effort, which leads to many users neglecting the need to clean the unit regularly. Instead of trying to take on cleaning the unit manually, there is a much simpler alternative. You can use a cpap cleaner as seen on tv. VirtuCLEAN is a CPAP cleaning device that can clean and sanitize your CPAP equipment in 30 minutes. All you do is plug your CPAP machine into the VirtuCLEAN unit and press one button turn it on. It requires no soap, water, or cleaning solution so you can easily perform the cleaning process at any time. This CPAP cleaner kills 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria that can collect within the unit without any scrubbing required.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea and started using a CPAP machine, don’t delay performing regular maintenance. Get your VirtuCLEAN unit today and begin maintaining your unit right away.