Thursday, September 9, 2021
There is a common misconception that only heavier people are at risk for developing sleep apnea, but the truth is that it can affect anybody. The only way to know for sure if you suffer from sleep apnea is to take part in a sleep study. This is a topic that Amanda French, RRT, a Norman Regional registered respiratory therapist with Norman Regional Home Medical Equipment, has extensive experience with and wants to share information that could be life changing for some.
“There’s a couple different types of sleep apnea, but essentially it is when people stop breathing in their sleep,” Amanda said. “Usually people are unaware that they have sleep apnea and it’s their spouse or someone close to them who notices there is something strange happening when they sleep whether it’s going to the bathroom frequently, choking in their sleep or gasping for air. They think it’s just a normal part of their sleep, but really they are struggling from sleep apnea, which can lead to serious conditions like brain damage from lack of oxygen, a heart attack or stroke if left untreated.”
How a CPAP machine helps
If you think you may be experiencing some of the common signs of sleep apnea, it’s important to participate in a sleep study and ultimately begin incorporating a CPAP machine into your nightly routine. A CPAP machine works by pushing pressurized air into the airways of the user. The air pressure can be adjusted to suit the needs of each individual as well, so there is a lot of room for the user to set up their CPAP machine so that it works best for them. This is why at Norman Regional’s Home Medical Equipment respiratory therapists like Amanda take the time to do CPAP setups for their customers, ensuring that they know how to use it, that it fits comfortably and effectively and that they get the most out of their CPAP.
“Most people with sleep apnea will use a CPAP machine the rest of their life and it’s a solid investment, so it’s definitely something that people want to make sure they are implementing properly and that it’s something they want to use,” Amanda said. “For 80-90% of the people we work with, they don’t mind wearing one every night,=. In fact, they can’t sleep without it anymore. I’ve heard stories of people going on vacation and going out-of-state and turning back around because they forgot their CPAP. People enjoy using it that much once they are used to wearing it.”
Another important aspect of implementing your CPAP is being able to understand your sleep study results. Often times, users will get their CPAP and not be using it correctly because nobody helped them set it up and it doesn’t help them overcome issues identified through the sleep study. Fortunately, Home Medical Equipment’s respiratory therapists will review your sleep study results with you while they are assisting you with your CPAP setup to ensure you understand and are getting the most out of your CPAP.
If you find yourself having issues while you are sleeping, it is highly recommended that you consider participating in a sleep study. Addressing sleep apnea with a CPAP machine could potentially save you from conditions that are more serious in the future and improve your overall quality of life with better sleep. If you have taken part in a sleep study and know that you need a CPAP, visit the CPAP request form and get one step closer to fixing your sleep apnea. If you think you need a sleep study, call Oklahoma Sleep Associates at 405-307-5337.