Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy provides patients with constant airflow while they sleep, keeping their airways open and preventing sleep apnea symptoms. However, even if you were just recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, you might wonder if the day will ever come that you don’t need your CPAP machine.
It’s a common question: “how do I know if I don’t need my CPAP anymore?” The truth is, it depends on you and your unique health situation. Still, there are ways to know whether your CPAP therapy is working.
Signs That CPAP Therapy Is Working
The primary goal of CPAP therapy is to reduce sleep apnea symptoms, so you can put an end to nighttime lapses in breathing and enjoy a good night’s sleep. One simple way to determine whether CPAP therapy is working for you is to pay attention to how you feel when you wake up. Do you feel rested and refreshed? Are you less irritable? Night after night, waking up and falling back to sleep due to sleep apnea symptoms can significantly affect the body. If your CPAP machine is functioning correctly, you should be getting better quality sleep and feeling better during the day.
Some of the tell-tale signs of a successful CPAP treatment are below:
- Your breathing when you sleep is continuous (uninterrupted)
- You don’t find yourself waking up and gasping for air
- You don’t get headaches in the morning
- You feel more rested throughout the day
- You can focus on tasks more clearly
- You are snoring less or not at all
How to Tell If I Don’t Need My CPAP
We’ve discussed how you can tell CPAP therapy is working, but you may still be questioning, “how do I know when I don’t need my CPAP anymore?” In reality, most patients continue using CPAP therapy indefinitely once they are prescribed it. This is because CPAP therapy is not a cure for sleep apnea. Much in the way that eyeglasses can improve your vision only when you wear them, a CPAP machine can only help you breathe and sleep better while you use it. Still, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to use your CPAP machine forever.
Certain lifestyle factors can either cause or worsen sleep apnea. Some patients may alleviate their symptoms simply by changing these behaviors. For example, patients whose sleep apnea is a result of obesity may lose weight and no longer have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Similarly, patients who quit smoking may experience a significant reduction in sleep apnea symptoms. That said, “curing” your sleep apnea depends on a myriad of factors. Always consult your doctor first before discontinuing CPAP therapy.
How We Can Help
If you have more questions like, “how do I know when I don’t need my CPAP anymore?” you’re in the right place. At Advanced Homecare, we are committed to educating patients about sleep apnea and offering the highest quality CPAP equipment. If you’re struggling with sleep apnea, contact us today to speak with a certified sleep specialist.