Living with a partner who suffers from sleep apnea can be extremely difficult. You must endure sleepless nights, sudden waking out of sleep, and snoring that is likely to plague your loved one. Often, the spouse or partner of a person suffering from sleep apnea also suffers from sleep deprivation due to these untreated symptoms. Over time, as these issues get worse, they can lead to arguments and marital strife due to the stress of not getting enough sleep.
The good news is that with treatment, sleep apnea symptoms can get better and even disappear. The primary cause of sleep apnea is a partial or total collapse of the airway as the patient sleeps. Solving this issue will help reduce or cure the symptoms. However, the process of getting the diagnosis and beginning treatment can be a stressful one for the patient, involving repeated doctor’s visits, tests, and long waiting periods. Your support through this process is essential to keep your partner from becoming discouraged and giving up on getting treatment. Here are some important ways you can help and tips you can use to make the process easier on yourself and your partner.
Record and Report Sleep Apnea Symptoms
As the spouse or partner of a patient who may suffer from sleep apnea, you are uniquely positioned to comment on the kind of symptoms your spouse experiences as they sleep. You may know his or her sleep pattern better than you know your own. An accurate idea of the symptoms can help your doctor diagnose and treat sleep apnea. It is helpful to keep as accurate a record as you can of what is happening as your spouse sleeps and how often the symptoms occur. Try keeping a pen and notebook by the bed so you can record the symptoms when they happen, even if it is in the middle of the night.
Be Supportive of New Sleep Apnea Treatments
Wearing a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea can take some time for the patient to get used to and might require your help. Some doctors and CPAP manufacturers recommend that the patient wear the mask for short periods during the day or when napping to help them get used to the way it feels. Taking naps with your spouse as he or she tries to get used to the way the CPAP mask feels can help them feel more comfortable and get to sleep easily at night. While it might be startling at first, sleeping next to a patient using a CPAP machine to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms can be just as much of a relief for you as it is for them. The loud snoring is gone, and most CPAP machines make little to no sound as they run.
Keep Your Sleep a Priority
Even with the benefit of time, some people simply can’t adjust to sleeping next to their spouse as they wear a mask. If you are having issues getting the rest you need even after your partner begins using a CPAP machine, it may be time to try sleeping apart a few nights a week, so you can get enough rest to function. With the proper amount of sleep, you can be the supportive pillar your partner needs.
Remember That Treatment is a Process
Even if you are sure that your spouse has sleep apnea, it can take time to get a diagnosis. Your doctor will want to thoroughly investigate all the possible causes and sleep disorders to see if the patient has sleep apnea or another similar disorder. Some doctors will send the patient for a sleep study and other tests before making a diagnosis.
Even after diagnosis, CPAP treatment is an ongoing process that takes time to master. In addition to using the CPAP machine each night, your partner will need to use a CPAP machine cleaner to eliminate any bacteria and dirt which accumulates inside the unit. The process of cleaning the CPAP machine must be repeated weekly to ensure that the unit stays sterile.
If you are searching for a CPAP cleaner that makes the process of cleaning your partner’s CPAP machine simple and fast, VirtuCLEAN is exactly what you are searching for. This cleaner sanitizes the machine’s inner components, the tubing, and the mask with the use of ozone. With no need for soap, water, or scrubbing, the cleaning process is simple and easy. Just press a button, walk away and come back to a clean unit ready to use. Click here to find out more about the VirtuCLEAN CPAP cleaner and sanitizer.