Everyone knows the awful feeling of not getting a good night’s rest. The next day, you’re likely to be dragging your feet, feeling run down, and unable to focus on the simplest of tasks. Now, imagine if that happened to you every single day. Terrible, right? Welcome to the world of sleep apnea sufferers.
Sleep apnea is considered a potentially fatal condition in which a person’s breathing repeatedly starts and stops throughout their sleep. These pauses in breathing, referred to as apneas, can occur up to 60 times per hour and can last anywhere from a few seconds to several hours. During this time, carbon dioxide begins to accumulate in the bloodstream, which then triggers the brain to wake the body up by coughing, choking, or even gasping for air. Ironically, many sleep apnea sufferers aren’t even aware they have this condition.
It’s estimated that sleep apnea affects as many as 18 million Americans. Unfortunately, two to four percent of all Americans suffer from undiagnosed cases of sleep apnea, which accounts for estimated one in every 50 Americans. While sleep apnea may seem harmless, those who suffer from it — especially those go undiagnosed — face much higher risks of stroke and heart disease.
However, sleep apnea is very much treatable. There are several available and highly successful treatment options such as BIPAP machines and BIPAP masks, CPAP machines and CPAP masks and nasal pillows that are designed to keep airways open and air flowing freely.
BIPAP vs CPAP is a common debate in the sleep apnea world. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure while BIPAP stands for bi-level positive airway pressure. While both are widely successful, many sleep apnea sufferers find BIPAP masks to be more comfortable. BIPAP masks work by adjusting the delivered air pressured when the user breathes out, while CPAP masks deliver a constant, steady amount of air pressure. While the BIPAP vs CPAP debate may continue for quite some time, your doctor will be able to provide further insight as to what’s best.