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CPAP Myths and Truths


Myth

I don’t need to use my CPAP every night, just when I feel like it.

Truth

If you discontinue use of CPAP you will experience the same symptoms that are associated with untreated sleep apnea or feel how you did prior to treatment. Continued use of CPAP every night will provide you with the optimal benefits of treatment.


Myth

CPAP will cure my sleep apnea.

Truth

CPAP is a continuous treatment therapy and the only 100% proven effective treatment for sleep apnea. Though weight loss through diet and exercise may reduce your symptoms and result in a lower prescribed pressure, never discontinue use of your CPAP without consulting your physician.


Myth

The CPAP machine will keep my bed partner awake.

Truth

Your bed partner should experience a better quality of sleep because theirs will be disturbed less from your snoring or repeated gasps for air. It also provides a sense of comfort that you are breathing and getting restful night’s sleep.


Myth

If I lose electricity during the night I will suffocate on the CPAP.

Truth

All CPAP masks are designed with exhalation ports to prevent any such occurrence but more than likely your body’s natural instinct for breath will awaken you.


Myth

I will not be able to travel with my CPAP.

Truth

Airport personnel are very familiar with these devices as sleep apnea’s prevalence in healthcare industry has prompted public awareness. It is recommended that if you do choose to travel by air that you carry –on your CPAP unit and accessories to prevent damage that may occur in baggage handling. Typically your CPAP carry on will not count against your allowable carry- on baggage.


Myth

CPAP can cause a sinus infection.

Truth

Many people that use CPAP have sinus problems such as dryness, stuffiness, or rhinitis. Many of these CPAP users are recommended to use humidification. Sinus infections are caused by bacteria or virus, not the CPAP machine, although CPAP use may “aggravate” a sinus infection.


Myth

I will lose weight on CPAP.

Truth

While you should notice a difference in your energy level and less fatigue, weight loss will still require diet and exercise as recommended. It is commonly reported that the restful night’s sleep you gain from CPAP use will provide you with the energy to conduct a healthy exercise routine.


Myth

I don’t need to use my CPAP while I am just taking a nap.

Truth

Sleep apnea knows no time of day; if you suffer from sleep apnea t will occur anytime you are sleeping without CPAP. Continued dedicated use of CPAP should result in the lack of desire to nap as you should experience less daytime sleepiness


Myth

If I take good care of my CPAP mask, hose and filters I should not need to replace it.

Truth

Your CPAP mask and accessories will be affected by the usual wear and tear of everyday use. The consistency of the mask’s interface will subside and be less effective in your treatment if a high leak is noticed. CPAP takes the air in your room and filters it before it is delivered into the mask, your filter should be changed frequently to insure the dust and other particles remain free and proper air is circulation through the device


Myth

CPAP is an oxygen machine.

Truth

CPAP is a device that acts as a pneumatic splint for your airway, keeping it from collapsing by providing a prescription pressure via a mask. One of the primary goals of CPAP is to keep your oxygen levels in normal range and typically this is accomplished by providing that splint.