Continuous positive airway pressure therapy is the most effective treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea. If used properly, this therapy can be revolutionary. Experiencing dramatic benefits is all this therapy is about. However, not everyone gets to reap the benefits of the treatment. Thus, if you are among the people who don’t feel better after using CPAP therapy to treat your sleep apnea, keep reading to find out the possible reasons.
You Don’t Use It Long Enough Every Night
Adjusting to CPAP therapy can be bothersome and it usually takes plenty of time. So, many people who tend to eke up during the night, usually remove the mark convincing themselves that they can get a good night’s sleep without using the treatment. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that sleep apnea has deteriorated in the last couple of hours of the night.
What’s more, many people experience REM sleep in the last third of the night. During REM sleep, vivid dreams and muscle relaxation occur, which leads to relaxation of the airway muscles. Thus, people who remover their mask before morning can’t reap the benefits of the therapy.
That’s why in order to maximize use, keep using CPAP from the beginning to the end of each night. You’ll soon start noticing the improvements.
You Only Have Mild Sleep Apnea
CPAP therapy isn’t extremely beneficial for people with mild sleep apnea. On the other hand, it’s extremely beneficial for severe sleep apnea. In fact, people with severe sleep apnea tend to have over 100 breathing disturbances per hour during sleep and CPAP therapy reduces these instances to five, which is a huge difference. Nevertheless, CPAP also offers benefits to mild sleep apnea cases, so this should not be a reason to forego treatment.
You’re Not Sleepy
Untreated sleep apnea has a number of symptoms, out of which excessive daytime sleepiness is the most common one. However, it’s important to note that not every person with sleep apnea experiences this symptom. The awakenings related to abnormal breathing can greatly impact sleep quality. This means that if you haven’t been sleepy before starting the therapy, you may not notice a dramatic difference when you start using it.
CPAP Problems Deteriorate Your Sleep
CPAP therapy sometimes comes with its own set of problems. Thus, if you don’t have enough support and the necessary interventions, these CPAP issues can have a negative impact on your therapy.
When you first start using the therapy you might notice feeling uncomfortable breathing against the pressure. Nevertheless, you can easily overcome this issue by practicing. The fit of the CPAP mask might not be right, which can lead to air leaks and cause pain, ulcers, or marks on the face. So, you should get help from the equipment supplier to find the right fit. Additionally, you might also need to adjust the humidity and temperature of the air to enhance comfort.
To alleviate all these issues and reduce the possibility of improper sleep, contact your providers and get all your concerns addressed.
You Have Insomnia
Another very common symptom of sleep apnea is insomnia, which causes waking up at night for an unexplained reason. It might not be a big deal if it occurs for just a couple of nights, but if it occurs far more often, it can become very problematic. If this happens to you, make sure you avoid taking sleeping pills. However, experiencing trouble falling asleep at the beginning of the night can only be worsened by wearing a mask that is blowing air in your face. You might want to explore the option of undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, which helps in long-term insomnia.
CPAP Isn’t Set Properly
You might not feel better after using the therapy due to improper settings of the CPAP machine. The settings are usually determined by a physician, who often decides that a standard range of pressure settings is good and then adjust them as you return for follow-up. However, the default settings might be inadequate for you and you might require a change. If this is one of the possible reasons, you should get an Auto Adjusting CPAP machine or APAP adjust to your ideal pressure on a breath by breath basis.
Sleep Apnea Didn’t Bother You Prior to Treatment
This might be a bit surprising, but many people decide to undertake CPAP therapy only because their bed partner couldn’t stand the snoring. This means that these sleep apnea sufferers didn’t experience any other symptoms and their condition wasn’t problematic at all. This means that the lack of symptoms might make it harder for the individual to notice any improvement with the treatment. However, you should notice whether your mood, concentration, and short-term memory problems have been improved with the treatment.
You Have Just Started Using It
If you have started the therapy only recently, you shouldn’t expect to get any instant results. In severe sleep apnea cases, individuals will notice dramatic improvements. However, if you have mild sleep apnea, it might take a while to notice any improvements. This means that you should give the treatment more time, even several weeks before you can notice the improvement.
You Have Developed Complex Sleep Apnea
CPAP therapy might trigger some different conditions in rare cases. Due to the constant airflow delivered by CPAP, the number of obstructive events can be increased. Unfortunately, some people will naturally begin to hold their breath against the pressure during sleep, which leads to developing complex sleep apnea. The condition can be resolved with continued treatment, often over several months. Some people might even need bilevel therapy to resolve it.
In a nutshell, these might be some of the possible reasons why you don’t notice any improvements from CPAP, but you should definitely consult a board-certified sleep physician about ways that your therapy may be optimized.