Living with sleep apnea really puts a damper on a person’s quality of life. Sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing while they sleep, leading to symptoms as mild as irritability and sleepiness, and as serious as cardio vascular disease and even death.
While there is no cure for sleep apnea, many doctors are able to treat the symptoms of sleep apnea with a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for “Continueous Positive Airway Pressure” and works by forcing air into the patients areas via a full face CPAP mask. Getting a sleep apnea diagnosis and access to CPAP machines can seriously transform the life of a person who suffers from the terrible condition.
However, sometimes, intimidation of the CPAP machine prevents people who really could benefit from it from getting the help they need. In order to ease your fears, we’ve put together a few busted myths about using a CPAP machine to sleep.
Three Things You Have Wrong About CPAP Machines
- MYTH: Even if insurance covers the machine, the CPAP replacement parts will put you in the poor house.
This isn’t a paid advertisement for CPAP machines; we’re not here to lie to you. It’s true that you’ll need CPAP replacement parts from time to time. CPAP machines — like all things — wear out over time. Especially since you’ll be using your CPAP machine on a nightly basis. However, your CPAP replacement parts aren’t going to make you poor.
First of all, if your CPAP machine is covered by insurance, the CPAP replacement parts are likely covered as well. You might need orders from your doctor in order to claim it or you may need to order them from the CPAP replacement parts supplier that your insurance provider works with. Just ask your insurance company what their requirements are in this regard.
Secondly, even if your insurance provider does nothing to ease the costs of a CPAP machine or replacement parts, there are a lot of ways to get them at reduced costs. Before spending any money, research discount CPAP machines or parts in your area. You’ll be surprised by the deals you’re able to get your hands on.
Thirdly, if you just can’t make it work, there are organizations that offer grants to help people who can’t afford it get the medical equipment they need. The point is, affordability is not a reason that any person should have to live with sleep apnea.
- MYTH: CPAP masks themselves make it difficult to get a good night of sleep.
Some people don’t realize how poorly they sleep due to their sleep apnea. Actually, many times it is the spouse of the patient who pushes them to seek help, because they snore so loudly (one of the most obvious signs of sleep apnea). Since the patient doesn’t realize all of their discomfort (weight gain, drowsiness, depression, fogginess, heart conditions, and so on) are a result of their sleep apnea, they may assume that sleeping with a mask will inhibit a good night of sleep more than it will help it.
There are a lot of reasons this should not stop you from getting help. Most obviously, sleep apnea itself ruins your night of sleep. No sleep apnea means better sleep. Secondly, if you really can’t jive with the full face mask, there are more subtle forms of sleep apnea support, such as tongue guards that prevent the tongue from blocking the airways.
- MYTH: CPAP machines disturb the partners for sleep apnea patients.
As we mentioned previously, the sleep apnea itself is a condition that disturbs the sleep of bed mates. You know the common argument: Wife says the husband snores. Husband denies that he snores (since he sleeps through it). The charade continues until wife starts sleeping in the guest room. With this in mind, it’s less of a pressing issue that a CPAP machine could be disruptive.
In addition to that, there are CPAP machines that are designed to be silent. If this is an issue that is stopping you from getting the help you need, make sure to talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Plus, let’s be realistic. People who suffer from sleep apnea without treatment are four times more likely to have a stroke. Your bed mate wants you to get help.