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Three Things to Keep In Mind About Sleep Apnea

There are as many as 18 million Americans with sleep apnea, and it's a more serious issue than many realize. Not only are you dealing with the normal dangers of sleeping too little, but there are also issues -- such as heart failure, depression, weight gain, diabetes, etc. -- that come specifically with sleep apnea. This makes a diagnosis and subsequent treatment essential to your overall health. Speaking with a doctor about symptoms may be enough for diagnosis in some severe cases, but many will require a sleep test to determine severity and treatment.

Choosing the Right Treatment
There are so many treatments out there for sleep apnea, and patients are generally split down the middle when it comes to which one is the best. About 50% say that they like nasal pillows, 45% report favoring nasal masks, and 5% say they don't have a preference. The two most popular treatments are CPAP masks and BiPAP masks, however. Generally, doctors will start with a CPAP masks and then move on from there if that doesn't work for the patient.

Keeping Up on Treatment
It is a sad fact that about 50% of people given CPAP machines stop their treatment within three weeks, according to studies. The biggest thing when it comes to treating sleep apnea is consistency. You must choose a treatment and really keep up on it. This also means giving it time to adjust before you cast it out and try another treatment (like a BiPAP mask)!

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with sleep apnea? Will you be choosing treatment soon or have you already chosen? What are the factors you took into account for your choice?