A.W.A.K.E, which stands for Alert, Well, And Keeping Energetic, is a nonprofit health awareness group founded by the American Sleep Apnea Association for people affected by sleep apnea and/or other sleep disorders. For more information, find us on Facebook at AWAKE Charlotte.
If you or someone you care about has been prescribed nightly use of a CPAP or PAP device, compliance may be made easier by keeping in mind the number of positive results, including better sleep quality and an increased level of alertness during the day.
And importantly, those who use their CPAP as prescribed are also shown to have fewer automobile accidents, decreased blood pressure and improvement in other cardiovascular abnormalities.
But despite all the positive results, CPAP compliance is a problem for many patients.
Kim Cosgrove, RRT, clinical coordinator for respiratory care at BayCare HomeCare in Largo, FL concurs. “We have patients who come back to us two or three years later, after having given up and turned in their (CPAP) equipment. Their blood pressure is higher or their Type 2 Diabetes is not controlled.
So what may keep you or someone you love from nightly CPAP usage?
- Discomfort with the constant air pressure
- Irritation from an ill-fitting mask
- Confusion about equipment function
- Embarrassment in front of a bed partner
- Depression about having a sleep disorder
- Improper education about the sleep disorder and the health implications if not treated.
- Improper education in equipment usage and expectations.
Studies consistently show that patients are more likely to enjoy better sleep, daytime functionality and overall improved health due to consistent use of their CPAP when guided by a comprehensive follow-up program. Comprehensive sleep services, such as those offered by United Sleep Medicine, offer follow-up and on-going therapy for those prescribed CPAP, BiPAP and other PAP Therapies. Your heath care provider may have resources available to assist you with CPAP continued care that can help you stay on track with your CPAP compliance.
Get the peer support needed to make CPAP therapy successful.
The ASAA (American Sleep Apnea Association) A.W.A.K.E. Network is a nonprofit health awareness group for people affected by sleep apnea. Through interactions with others, in support settings such as A.W.A.K.E. meetings, persons with sleep apnea and their families provide peer support and coping mechanisms for dealing with the disorder as well as first-hand advice on CPAP use and compliance.
Studies also show that a spouse or cohabiting partner’s involvement can help improve CPAP compliance. The most effective methods involve an effort to work together to make sure the equipment is used properly and comfortably.
Others have found that the problem-solving and coping styles of an individual contribute to successful CPAP use. Individuals who tend to seek advice and information from other people, as well as create goal-oriented schedules with their sleep healthcare professionals, also tend to experience greater success with nightly use than those who tend to try to cope on their own.
It’s not easy getting the brain adjusted to having something over the face during sleep. But the brain CAN and WILL adjust given time. Using CPAP equipment is vital to the health of anyone with a sleep disorder that requires nightly respiratory treatment. If you are experiencing difficulties with your CPAP equipment, call your healthcare provider, or make an appointment with the sleep specialists at United Sleep Medicine today.