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Do CPAP Machines Really Work? Do You Need A Prescription To Buy A CPAP Machine?

Do CPAP Machines Really Work? Do You Need A Prescription To Buy A CPAP Machine?

A continuous positive airway pressure or  CPAP machine provides the best possible sleep apnea treatment when fitted and used properly. It becomes an effective aid in your battle against sleep apnea enabling life-changing benefits. Research shows that those using sleep apnea devices have uninterrupted sleep, improved health, and better prognosis.

Sleep apnea treatment is successful only with a CPAP machine that assures a constant and unobstructed airflow when you sleep. The primary objective of this sleep apnea machine is to keep the airway open, and by doing this job, it allows you to sleep without interruptions. You physician will determine the correct air pressure and the suitable CPAP equipment that is comfortable for your face. Without this and without using it regularly, sleep apnea will not be adequately treated.

How Long Does A CPAP Machine Take To Treat Sleep Apnea?

During sleep, if you are not breathing normally, sleep apnea sets in. Obstruction in the airways results in breathing pauses and this causes a drop in the oxygen level forcing your brain to wake you up. Sometimes these awakenings are not noticed by the patient, maybe a quick position change, but regardless, any interruption in sleep cycles causes morning fatigue and daytime sleepiness. A CPAP machine, which delivers constant pressurized air to your airway, prevents these breathing pauses preventing sleep apnea from impacting you.

But how long does it take for these sleep apnea devices to work? Does CPAP therapy provide immediate relief or does one have to use it for weeks before getting respite from sleep apnea?

The efficacy of a CPAP machine varies from person to person. While the device facilitates an incredible night of sleep and helps some emerge energetic and fresh the very next day, others may struggle for a few days before having its benefits. The key reasons for initial failure or delay in sleep apnea treatment using CPAP therapy may include:

  • Simply not being used to wearing something on your head at night. Some people take more time than others to get accustomed to this.
  • Unsuitable CPAP equipment
  • Uncomfortable mask leading to sporadic use
  • Wrong size of the mask

Making Sure Your CPAP Machine Offers Optimum Sleep Apnea Treatment

Getting a suitable mask is the first step to ensure the optimum performance of your CPAP machine. You may find CPAP masks of different shapes and sizes. Select the one that best fits the structure and size of your face and helps maintain adequate air pressure.

It is natural to feel uncomfortable when using the mask for the first time. A few people experience claustrophobia too. However, never let this dissuade you from using CPAP therapy for sleep apnea treatment. Practice it and gradually increase the time – a few minutes in the beginning to a few hours later on. Increase the frequency of using the sleep apnea machine and you are certain to get around the new sensation and have the best result. It is so worth it, not just for your energy, but for your metabolism, brain functioning, and cardiovascular health.

Avoid dryness on your face to minimize any chance or irritation associated with using a CPAP machine. These sleep apnea devices do not frequently cause irritation but if it occurs, check to see if you have a leaky mask, your skin is moisturized properly, and if your straps are comfortable. A bed partner could tell you if there is an air leak on your mask or if it is poorly fit. He or she would hear air blowing from the sides of the mask.

Do You Need A Prescription To Buy A CPAP Machine?

Yes, you need a prescription to buy a CPAP machine, but not the accessories such as the masks. These sleep apnea devices are classified as Class II medical devices and regulatory measures are in place for their safety and effectiveness. The guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration mandates a prescription by a physician or practitioner healthcare professional to buy them.

Apart from the regulatory mandate, a prescription is a prerequisite to get insurance payments for the buying of a CPAP machine. Also, when you consult a sleep specialist, he can better guide you if the devices are able to offer the proper  sleep apnea treatment considering your specific conditions. Patients with mixed sleep apnea may not get benefit from CPAP therapy. The doctor may also help you know the suitable machine pressure settings based on your sleep study results.

Jan 12th 2020

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