addition to medications and behavioral measures, some sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea (in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep), may include the use of medical equipment during sleep, such as CPAP therapy.
CPAP is an air pressure system that helps hold the air passages in the nose and throat open during sleep and eliminates snoring and pauses in breathing. Proper fitting and instruction for use of CPAP equipment – whether simple nosepieces or more elaborate masks – is critical to ensure your comfort and willingness to continue with treatment. There may be a period when different equipment is used and several adjustments are made. It is important that you share your questions and concerns with the sleep specialists who are working with you for the best possible outcome.
In truth, some treatment methods may be challenging to follow, and having continuing care available from a certified sleep specialist to oversee a patient’s progress is crucial. Ask your primary care physician or sleep doctor if continuing after care will be offered at the referred sleep clinic. At the very least, most patients schedule annual visits at their sleep clinic to learn about the latest advances in the treatment of sleep problems and sleep disorders.
You Are Not Alone
According to recent polls conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 7 out of 10 Americans say they experience frequent sleep problems. However, when proper diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders occurs, the feeling of sleepiness declines, memory improves and safety risks decrease dramatically. In fact, sleep disorder specialists help an estimated 85 to 90% of their patients get better sleep. With the wealth of treatment options now available, a good night’s sleep is within reach.