If you’ve just been diagnosed with sleep apnea then you may be wondering how long you’ll need to do CPAP therapy for. Will you be completely cured in a week or are you going to be dozing off to the soft whirring of your CPAP machine for the rest of your life? Like any complicated question, the answer depends on you and your unique health situation.
Do I have to Use CPAP Forever?
It’s important to understand that using your CPAP machine won’t cure your sleep apnea. But CPAP therapy will help you achieve a restful sleep despite having this condition. As long as you have sleep apnea, you will continue to need to use CPAP therapy.
That being said, you can discontinue the use of your CPAP machine if your sleep apnea becomes cured or enters remission. But curing your sleep apnea depends on a host of factors including what is causing your sleep apnea and whether there is anything you can do to lessen its severity.
What are the Causes of Your Sleep Apnea?
Although the treatment for sleep apnea is the same, the factors that cause
this condition can differ from person to person. And depending on the unique set of factors that have contributed to your sleep apnea, you may or may not have to have CPAP therapy for the rest of your life.
Causes of Sleep Apnea Include:
- Anatomical Irregularities
- Weight Gain
- Lifestyle Factors Including Sleep Deprivation, Alcohol Consumption, and Smoking
Can You Reverse Sleep Apnea?
Now that you’ve determined the cause(s) of your sleep apnea, make an assessment about whether you can reverse your condition by treating the root cause. If your sleep apnea is due to excess weight
or lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption, smoking, or skimping on sufficient shuteye, then there is a lot you can do to improve or even reverse your sleep apnea. Exercising, eating healthier, and cutting out nicotine and alcohol will help you shed excess weight and improve your health. Conversely, if your sleep apnea is caused by aging or structural abnormalities then you may have to use a CPAP machine for the rest of your life since these conditions tend to be permanent.
CPAP All Night Long
You might feel tempted to skip a night or two without your CPAP, but skipping it even for one night can potentially be detrimental to your health. It takes some time to get used to sleeping with a CPAP. Instead of not using it, there might be solutions to what is making you uncomfortable
. One of the best ways to get acclimated is to use the CPAP machine before you go to sleep either watching TV or reading in bed. Remember, even one night of poor sleep can effect your health.
Don't Give Up On Your CPAP Therapy
The bottom line is that CPAP therapy is necessary as long as you have sleep apnea. Let’s think about how it could be (or was) without your CPAP machine. First off, you not only feel sluggish, moody, and have a hard time concentrating, but you are quite likely carrying around several extra pounds, probably have trouble with your blood sugar levels, have high blood pressure, and are likely to consistently deal with depression. This is no way to live when something non-invasive (and non-surgical) can be done about it.