If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, it’s important that you visit your doctor and seek treatment. Almost 20 million Americans have sleep apnea, which has been shown to have long-ranging, negative impacts on your health if left untreated. Luckily, treating sleep apnea isn’t very difficult and there are affordable options for CPAP and BiPAP machines, including gently used CPAP machines and BiPAP machines. You and your doctor can discuss different types of face masks or nasal pillows to use with your machines for optimal comfort and continued use. Don’t wait and hope that sleep apnea will simply “go away” — you need to talk with your doctor about treatment options in order to avoid complications down the road. Let’s talk about how you can tell you might have sleep apnea and what next steps look like.
What Is Sleep Apnea and How Can I Tell If I Have It?
Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder, where your breathing is disrupted by pauses. These pauses can be anywhere from a few seconds long to lasting for minutes. the average person with obstructive sleep apnea may have as many as 60 apneas an hour. When you start to breathe again, you do so with a disruptive snore or loud, choking sound.
When your breathing pauses, your airway collapses or gets blocked, which causes the loud sound as you start breathing again. Sleep apnea disrupts your sleep, as pausing your breaths can pull you from deep sleep into a lighter sleep. Since your sleep quality isn’t as high, you may feel more tired during the day.
If you have a partner or share a room with someone, they may be the first to notice that you have a problem, because of the sounds you make as you sleep. And, if you find yourself consistently tired and exhausted during the day, or often feel as though you didn’t get a good night’s sleep the night before, you may want to check into the possibility of having sleep apnea.
Why Shouldn’t I Leave My Sleep Apnea Untreated?
Many studies have linked sleep apnea to cardiovascular disease. Indeed, the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research found that almost 40,000 deaths happen every year that are related to cardiovascular issues that are in some aspect, also related to sleep apnea.
People who leave their sleep apnea untreated are four times more likely to see a risk of stroke and three times as likely to have heart disease, as compared to those without sleep apnea, or who are treating their sleep apnea. You’re also more likely to have high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or increase your risk of arrhythmias.
There are certain factors that can increase your risk of having sleep apnea. For example, men are twice as likely to have it as women, and asthma patients are 40% more likely to have sleep apnea as those without apnea. Obesity and lifestyle habits can also play a role. Talk to your doctor about finding gently used CPAP machines and BiPAP machines to help with your sleep apnea.
What are the Differences Between CPAP and BiPAP Machines?
It’s likely your doctor will prescribe you either a CPAP or a BiPAP machine. If you’re worried about cost, there are plenty of gently used CPAP machines and BiPAP machines available that you can purchase at a lower cost than brand new ones.
A CPAP machine stands for continuous positive airway pressure and, as the name suggests, blows a continuous, pressurized stream of air into your airway to keep it from collapsing or becoming blocked, thereby removing the apnea. A BiPAP machine, on the other hand, which stands for bilevel positive airway pressure, has two levels of pressure — one for inhaling and one for exhaling — which can make breathing easier for some patients.
A BiPAP machine is often used if CPAP was begun and didn’t work for the patient. Whether you ultimately end up using gently used CPAP machines and BiPAP machines or purchasing a new one, rest assured knowing that you’re taking care of your health.