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best cpap mask

New Study Reveals Sleep Apnea Effect

According to a recent study, sleep apnea -- which affects an estimated 18 million Americans -- has a substantial impact on brain function. The study, conducted at UCLA School of Nursing, found that people suffering from sleep apnea have altered levels of the brain chemicals influencing emotions.

The researchers examined two brain chemicals: gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate. These chemicals help to coordinate signals in order to control everything from blood pressure to emotions. The study discovered that people diagnosed with sleep apnea typically have high levels of glutamate, and lower levels of GABA. High levels of glutamate stress the brain and limit its function, which could lead to symptoms like memory loss and trouble concentrating.

Important to Seek Treatment
“What comes with sleep apnea are these changes in the brain, so in addition to prescribing continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, a machine used to help an individual sleep easier ... physicians now know to pay attention to helping their patients who have these other symptoms," explained lead researcher Paul Macey to HealthDay News.

Overall, this research highlights how necessary sleep apnea treatments are. It’s not just about feeling well rested -- it’s also about functioning well on a day to day basis. While treatment of the underlying systems is important, it’s worth noting that approximately 50% of all people prescribed a CPAP machine will stop using them within three weeks. This is a big problem considering that sleep apnea carries serious health risks -- when people don’t treat their sleep apnea, they have a four times greater risk of suffering a stroke.

No Single Best CPAP Mask
Many people object to the discomfort of the CPAP machine. The machine delivers steady air pressure throughout the night through a mask or nose piece -- not surprisingly, this can be difficult to adjust to. Patients, in many cases, just need to give themselves more time to get used to it. Also worth noting: the best CPAP mask for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone. There are a wide range of mask types available. A full face mask can feel constricting to some, but will provide a stable fit for those who move around more. Nasal pillows can also feel less cumbersome to many people. When it comes to the devices themselves, there are CPAPs that have heated humidifiers, which can counter the effect of dry nose.

Ultimately, if a patient isn't comfortable with their current sleep apnea treatment, the solution should not be to give up. Instead, they should consult with their doctor on the best CPAP mask for them, so that sleep can be restful and comfortable.