Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a common treatment for sleep apnea, a disorder that causes breathing interruptions during sleep. However, there are several common myths associated with CPAP therapy that may deter people from seeking treatment or adhering to their prescribed therapy. Here are a few of the most common myths about CPAP:
1. Myth: CPAP is uncomfortable to wear.
Fact: While some people may experience discomfort when first starting CPAP therapy, there are many comfortable and customizable options available. Different mask styles, headgear, and humidification settings can be adjusted to fit individual preferences and needs.
2. Myth: CPAP is only for people who snore.
Fact: While snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, not all people who snore have sleep apnea, and not all people with sleep apnea snore. CPAP therapy is specifically designed to treat sleep apnea, regardless of whether or not the person snores.
3. Myth: CPAP is only for older people.
Fact: Sleep apnea can affect people of any age, including children. CPAP therapy is an effective treatment for sleep apnea regardless of age.
4. Myth: CPAP is a cure for sleep apnea.
Fact: While CPAP therapy can effectively treat sleep apnea symptoms, it is not a cure. If CPAP therapy is stopped, sleep apnea symptoms will likely return.
5. Myth: CPAP therapy is not necessary if I only have mild sleep apnea.
Fact: Even people with mild sleep apnea can benefit from CPAP therapy. Left untreated, mild sleep apnea can worsen over time and lead to more severe symptoms.
6. Myth: CPAP therapy is noisy and will disturb my partner.
Fact: While some older CPAP machines may have been noisy, newer models are designed to be much quieter. Additionally, many newer masks are designed to minimize noise and air leaks, which can improve comfort for both the wearer and their partner.
Leaving sleep apnea untreated can lead to a range of serious health problems. Here are some of the most common health risks associated with untreated sleep apnea:
- High blood pressure: Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure or make existing high blood pressure worse. This can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Cardiovascular disease: Sleep apnea is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks.
- Type 2 diabetes: Sleep apnea is also associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
- Depression and anxiety: People with sleep apnea are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, which can negatively impact their quality of life.
- Memory problems: Sleep apnea can cause memory problems and difficulties with concentration and attention.
- Daytime sleepiness: Sleep apnea can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, which can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
- Decreased quality of life: Sleep apnea can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, leading to decreased productivity, social withdrawal, and other negative effects.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, it’s important to seek diagnosis and treatment from a healthcare provider. Treatment options, such as CPAP therapy, can effectively manage the symptoms of sleep apnea and reduce the risk of these serious health complications.
It’s important to remember that CPAP therapy is a safe and effective treatment for sleep apnea. If you have concerns or questions about CPAP therapy, speak with a member of our team at one of our 9 Dream Sleep Locations around Alberta. We are here to help!