Long Term Benefits of Staying on Top of Your Sleep Plan
Posted: March 23, 2020
Nearly 22 million people in the United States have sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that can affect your health. However, with sleep apnea treatment, you can often reduce your symptoms and your risk of other health complications. Typically, sleep apnea treatment includes lifestyle changes and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. However, CPAP therapy adherence rates are quite low. It’s estimated that only 30-60% of sleep apnea patients adhere to their sleep apnea treatment plan properly. Sticking to your sleep plan helps you avoid health issues caused by sleep apnea and can also help you feel better overall.
People with sleep apnea stop breathing for seconds or minutes while they sleep. Depending on how severe their sleep apnea is, this can be anywhere from 5 to more than 30 times an hour that you stop breathing while you sleep.
Sleep apnea sufferers often experience daytime fatigue, insomnia, and erectile dysfunction. Additionally, poor sleep quality caused by sleep apnea may lead to irritability, depression, or difficulty concentrating. Those with sleep apnea may struggle with daily tasks due to their condition. This can make it difficult for many sleep apnea sufferers to lead the lifestyle they desire. Additionally, those with sleep apnea are also more likely to experience car and work accidents, due to disruptions in their sleep cycle.
Sleep apnea also affects your health in many negative ways. Interruptions in your breathing during sleep deprives your heart and brain of oxygen and make your heart work harder. Those with sleep apnea often have high blood pressure that is difficult to control. Also, sleep apnea increases your risk for cardiovascular events like heart attacks, strokes, and heart arrhythmias. Therefore, it’s important to visit your sleep apnea clinic for diagnosis and treatment if you believe you have sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment May Help Cognitive Function
Doctors have identified sleep apnea as a disorder that often occurs alongside mild cognitive impairment. Mild cognitive impairment refers to any issue with cognition or brain processing that isn’t normal for your age group. Oftentimes this interferes with your quality of life in major ways. For example, it may be more difficult to perform your job effectively. However, sleep apnea treatment may help with these issues.
A recent study found that sleep apnea treatment may help improve cognition and slow cognitive decline in patients with sleep apnea. Researchers focused on how patients with mild cognitive impairment changed with CPAP therapy. Those who used their CPAP device regularly improved their cognitive function significantly based on rating systems commonly used for dementia and Alzheimer’s. In fact, the patients who participated in the study had eight to nine times better odds of improving their scores on these tests. Therefore, sleep apnea treatment may help improve your brain’s processing ability.
Sleep apnea patients often notice that they feel less mentally “foggy” after beginning their sleep apnea treatment plan. This is typically attributed to a few things. First, your sleep apnea treatment device prevents breathing cessation, which can lead to getting more oxygen to your brain. Additionally, CPAP therapy can help stop sleep disruptions caused by apnea events, meaning you get better quality sleep. Therefore, sleep apnea treatment can help you feel better rested and improve your memory and ability to think quickly. It can also help you avoid cardiovascular issues often associated with untreated sleep apnea.
Your Sleep Apnea Treatment Plan May Help Your Cardiovascular Health
Another important reason you should adhere to your sleep apnea treatment plan is that it can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular issues. Some of the most common cardiovascular events include high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke. Several studies show that sleep apnea can increase your risk for cardiovascular events. Using your CPAP device regularly can help decrease this risk. Researchers found that sleep apnea patients who used their CPAP device at least four hours a night experienced fewer cardiovascular events. Additionally, those who used CPAP therapy had a higher survival rate after cardiovascular events. Therefore, adhering to your sleep apnea treatment plan can help you not only feel great, but lower your likelihood of experiencing negative consequences from cardiovascular issues.
Your sleep apnea clinic can help you determine if you have sleep apnea and the best course of action. The gold standard of sleep apnea treatment is CPAP therapy. A CPAP device helps create pressure in your airways to prevent them from narrowing. However, for your sleep apnea treatment plan to work, you must follow your provider’s instructions. For example, most sleep apnea patients should wear their CPAP device nightly for a minimum of four hours. Because CPAP devices are highly effective, many insurance providers cover the costs of this life-saving equipment. However, non-compliance with your CPAP therapy could also cause issues with your medical insurance.
Talk to Your Insurance About CPAP Adherence Regulations
While most medical insurance policies cover CPAP devices and supplies, many also require a certain CPAP therapy adherence rate to continue to pay for the device. These requirements depend on your insurance provider and vary. However, many insurance companies use the same standards as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). If your medical provider prescribes a CPAP device as part of your sleep apnea treatment plan, CMS covers the costs of the device for a three-month trial period. During this time, your insurance company assesses your adherence to your CPAP therapy to determine if they will continue to cover the costs of the device.
CMS requires sleep apnea patients to use their device for at least 4 hours 70% of the time during a 30-day period. However, if you do not meet this adherence level, then your insurance provider may request that you return the device and purchase one out of pocket. Information about whether you’re adhering to your CPAP device is automatically transmitted to your insurance provider. Therefore, poor adherence to your sleep apnea treatment plan could cost you not only your health, but also money. In order to keep your out of pocket costs low and your health in good condition, it’s important to stay on top of your sleep apnea treatment plan.
At Low T Center, our sleep apnea clinic offers personalized men’s healthcare to help you feel great and achieve your health goals. Our providers help with sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment that fits your lifestyle. As a leading men’s health clinic, we work to ensure our healthcare is convenient, affordable, and accessible for you. If you’re ready to start optimizing your health, schedule an appointment online with one of our convenient locations near you. At Low T Center, we are here to help you.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.