Posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2022 at 11:20 am
Nighttime sleep is our chance to let our bodies recharge and become well-rested for the next day. When our sleep is disturbed, it can lead to daytime sleepiness or being cranky with those around us. There are a variety of reasons why poor sleep can happen, including a condition called sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a medical condition that has a negative impact on a person’s breathing during sleep. The most common type is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). When a person has OSA, the throat muscles relax during sleep and cause the airway to collapse and be blocked. This happens repeatedly throughout the night.
Symptoms of sleep apnea can include loud snoring, waking up with a dry mouth, and gasping for air while you sleep. Sleep apnea may lead to:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Daytime drowsiness
- Increased risk for diabetes
- Increased risk for stroke
These effects, in turn, can have other impacts, such as falling asleep while driving due to drowsiness.
What Is a CPAP Machine?
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is a device that keeps a person’s airway open while they sleep. It involves wearing a mask that covers the nose, although some masks cover the mouth as well. The mask is connected to a tube that blows air from the machine into the mask.
Should I Try a CPAP Machine If I’m Over 80?
If you believe you may have sleep apnea, you may be considering trying a CPAP machine. It’s important to understand that these devices are not for everyone. In fact, CPAP machines are typically so uncomfortable that many patients do not end up using them as a lasting solution.
In addition, a recent study suggests that CPAP machines may not be effective for people over age 80. In this age group, the study did not find a significant difference between those who used a CPAP machine compared to those who did not.
These results are important to consider. Due to the uncomfortable nature of a CPAP machine, the negative sleeping experience may outweigh the potential benefits. This is especially true if there are no detectable benefits for a person over age 80.
An Alternative to a CPAP Machine
In addition to CPAP machines, there is an alternative treatment option called an oral appliance device. There are several different kinds, and they are custom designed for a person’s mouth. Oral appliances are suitable for most patients, including those with dentures or even with no teeth. An oral appliance is usually more comfortable than a CPAP machine. This can make it a better long-term solution that a person will actually use each night.
Call Us to Learn More
If you think you might have sleep apnea, now is the time to act. Getting better sleep can have a positive impact on many areas of your life. Contact Silent Night Therapy now at 631-983-2463 to discuss your situation with a member of our team of New York sleep specialists.