Overview

How Many People Have Sleep Apnea?

How Many People Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea affects more than 12 million Americans and increases other health related problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Treatment is specifically designed for each individual patient based on:

  • Age, overall health, and medical history.
  • Severity of the disease.
  • Patient’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies.
  • Expectations for the course of the disease.
  • The patient’s opinion or preference.

 

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How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Medications are generally not effective in the treatment of sleep apnea. The most common method of treatment is physical or mechanical therapy; the wearing of nasal or facemask to maintain continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The mask is worn over the nose during sleep to maintain continuous positive airway pressure. An air blower produces a mild increase in upper airway pressure, stimulating airflow through the nasal passages and upper airway.

 

What Is a CPAP?

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP enables sleep apnea patients to maintain an open airway and have continuous breathing during sleep. It is the most common form of treatment for sleep apnea, and is administered by a nasal or facemask. The mask is connected to a pump and provides airflow into the nasal passages.

What If My CPAP Isn’t Working?

Many people require a month or two to fully adjust to using CPAP. If you are having difficulty adjusting, don’t give up hope! There are many adjustments that can be made to help you be more comfortable as you grow accustomed to the CPAP machine. Learn more about what to do if your CPAP isn't working.

When Should I See a Specialist?

Keep your doctor apprised of any adjustment issues you continue to have after an extended period. Your doctor can help you find the exact cause of any skin deterioration or sores, find appropriate nasal medication, or find an appropriate mask. Seek specialized help if your machine is uncomfortably loud despite a clean filter. Finally, continued drowsiness, memory problems, morning headaches, and mood swings should also be brought to your doctor’s attention.