Overcoming CPAP Adherence Challenges

Improving Health Outcomes through CPAP Adherence: Obstructive Sleep Apnea and CPAP Therapy

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder that affects breathing during sleep, leading to decreased oxygen levels and frequent awakenings during the night. It is estimated that 26% of Canadians between the ages of 30 and 70 have OSA, with men having a higher prevalence than women [1]. OSA is characterized by repetitive episodes of partial or complete upper airway obstruction during sleep.

Untreated OSA increases the risk of hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, among other conditions [2]. Symptoms of OSA include loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, and morning headaches [3]. The primary treatment for OSA is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), which delivers a constant flow of air through a mask worn over the nose or mouth during sleep, preventing throat collapse and maintaining an open airway [4]. CPAP therapy is highly effective in reducing symptoms and improving health outcomes.

While CPAP is the primary treatment for OSA, secondary treatment options include dental devices, surgery, and lifestyle changes [5]. While CPAP remains the most effective and widely prescribed treatment for OSA, it is critical to select the most appropriate treatment option for each patient. The sleep physician reviewing the results of the diagnostic sleep study will provide treatment recommendations based on individual patient needs [6].

Despite the benefits of CPAP therapy, patient compliance rates remain a challenge. Studies have shown that up to 50% of patients discontinue or have poor adherence to CPAP therapy within the first year of treatment [7]. Factors contributing to poor compliance include mask discomfort, pressure setting difficulties, and social stigma associated with wearing a mask during sleep [8].

To improve compliance, personalized treatment plans and regular follow-up can be implemented. Patients should be educated on proper mask fitting and usage, encouraged to use the device regularly, and communicate any issues they experience with the device or therapy. Working with reputable and high-quality companies when purchasing CPAP devices can also help ensure patients receive necessary support and education [9]. When used effectively, CPAP can truly be a game changer, as described by a current client.

When you no longer wake up exhausted & can face your day without burnout mid afternoon, you’ll be thankful that you went for a visit”.                                  (Matt. B_Calgary)

Regular use of CPAP therapy has been shown to have significant health benefits for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Studies have demonstrated that CPAP therapy can improve the quality of life by reducing daytime sleepiness, improving mood and cognitive function, and decreasing the risk of accidents related to sleepiness [4]. Additionally, CPAP therapy can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, stroke, and heart disease, which are common comorbidities associated with untreated OSA [2]. Furthermore, research has indicated that long-term use of CPAP therapy can also lead to improvements in metabolic and glycemic control, making it an important component in the management of type 2 diabetes [10].

In Canada, the cost of CPAP therapy is often covered by private insurers or public health in some provinces, making it accessible for many patients [11]. This accessibility allows individuals to receive the necessary treatment for their OSA without worrying about the financial burden. Additionally, it is important to note that there are many reputable and high-quality companies that offer CPAP devices and support services in Canada, ensuring that patients receive the necessary education and support to improve compliance and achieve optimal health outcomes [9].

Regular use of CPAP therapy can improve multiple aspects of an individual's life, and the accessibility of this treatment in Canada allows many individuals to benefit from it. It is important to do your homework when selecting a CPAP provider. While becoming accustomed to using CPAP is important, the highest quality companies provide ongoing, long term therapeutic support, and are anxious to help when they are when needed.

Improving CPAP compliance is essential for maximizing the benefits of this effective treatment for OSA. Strategies such as personalized treatment plans, regular follow-up, and education and support for patients can help improve adherence to therapy [9]. Proper adherence to CPAP therapy can significantly improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of serious health conditions associated with untreated OSA.

If you are struggling with sleep apnea and find it difficult to comply with CPAP therapy, it may be time to seek additional support. Rebel Sleep Institute is a trusted, Canadian owned sleep clinic that provides personalized treatment plans and support to patients with sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. Our team of experienced sleep professionals can help you select the right CPAP device, fit the mask correctly, and adjust the pressure settings to make you comfortable during sleep. We will also educate you on the benefits of CPAP therapy and provide regular follow-up to ensure you adhere to the treatment plan. Contact our team to learn more about how we can help.

Rebel Sleep Institute

Reference List:

  1. Fung, C. H., & Li, H. Y. (2019). Obstructive sleep apnea in Canada: a review. Canadian respiratory journal, 2019.
  2. Somers, V. K., White, D. P., Amin, R., Abraham, W. T., Costa, F., Culebras, A., ... & Redline, S. (2008). Sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease: an American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation Scientific Statement. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 52(8), 686-717.
  3. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Sleep apnea. Mayo Clinic.
  4. Weaver, T. E., & Grunstein, R. R. (2008). Adherence to continuous positive airway pressure therapy: the challenge to effective treatment. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 5(2), 173-178.
  5. Kushida, C. A., Littner, M. R., Hirshkowitz, M., Morgenthaler, T. I., Alessi, C. A., Bailey, D., ... & Wise, M. (2006). Practice parameters for the use of continuous and bilevel positive airway pressure devices to treat adult patients with sleep-related breathing disorders. Sleep, 29(3), 375-380.
  6. Fleetham, J. A., Ayas, N. T., Bradley, D., Ferguson, K. A., Fitzpatrick, M. F., George, C. F., ... & Tsai, W. H. (2006). Canadian Thoracic Society guidelines: diagnosis and treatment of sleep disordered breathing in adults. Canadian Respiratory Journal, 13(7), 387-392.
  7. Weaver, T. E., Maislin, G., Dinges, D. F., Bloxham, T., George, C. F., & Greenberg, H. (2007). Relationship between hours of CPAP use and achieving normal levels of sleepiness and daily functioning. Sleep, 30(6), 711-719.
  8. Sawyer, A. M., Gooneratne, N. S., Marcus, C. L., Ofer, D., Richards, K. C., & Weaver, T. E. (2011). A systematic review of CPAP adherence across age groups: Clinical and empiric insights for developing CPAP adherence interventions. Sleep medicine reviews, 15(6), 343-356.
  9. Ayas, N. T., & Epstein, L. J. (2006). Predictors of adherence to continuous positive airway pressure therapy in adults with sleep apnea. Canadian respiratory journal, 13(8), 438-442.
  10. Martinez-Ceron, E., Barquiel, B., Bezos, A. M., Casitas, R., Galera, R., Garcia-Benito, C., ... & Masa, J. F. (2014). Effect of continuous positive airway pressure on glycemic control in patients with obstructive sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA internal medicine, 174(7), 934-942.
  11. Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. (2018). The role of continuous positive airway pressure therapy in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea: a review of the clinical and cost-effectiveness. Health technology update, 29(2), 1-29.