What to Expect During Your Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Get advice choosing sleep apnea devices or following behavioral therapy guidelines
In addition to a feeling of tiredness during the day, untreated sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, and potentially increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Other consequences include falling asleep at inappropriate times, memory problems, acid reflux and frequent nighttime awakening.
When you begin your behavioral or medical (mechanical) sleep apnea treatment, it’s important to follow your physician’s instructions and alert him or her to any problems you may experience. If your course of sleep apnea treatment does not ease your symptoms, your doctor may need to make adjustments.
Behavioral Sleep Apnea Treatment
Changing your behavior is rarely an easy thing to do, but if you’re prescribed behavioral therapy for your obstructive sleep apnea, it’s important to make every effort to follow your physician’s orders, including avoiding alcohol, tobacco and sleeping pills.
You may be advised to lose weight, sleep in a different position or use a pillow or another device that helps you sleep on your side. With any of these changes, it takes time and focus to achieve results. Behavioral changes are not a quick fix for sleep problems, and they may not be effective for serious cases of obstructive sleep apnea.
CPAP or BiLevel PAP Sleep Apnea Treatment
If your doctor prescribes CPAP/BiLevel PAP therapy for your obstructive sleep apnea, you will need to choose a sleep apnea device, including a mask and headgear. There are styles for every head size and face shape. Lifestyle decisions—such as whether or not you wear glasses, sleep on your stomach, or move around a lot when you sleep—are also important to consider.
Many patients report they sleep soundly and feel well rested after just a few days of starting CPAP/BiLevel PAP therapy. But not everyone can immediately use their equipment all night, every night. Common discomforts include eye irritation, skin irritation, stuffy nose, and dry mouth or throat.
That’s why it’s important to be patient while your body becomes accustomed to therapy. See our CPAP Desensitization section for tips on how to gradually get used to wearing a CPAP mask when you are undergoing treatment for sleep apnea.
We will work with you and your doctor to ensure your treatment for sleep apnea is successful. We will carefully fit your obstructive sleep apnea devices and make every possible adjustment if you're experiencing any of the more common CPAP problems. CPAP/BiLevel PAP therapy can get you back on track to having the life you deserve.