Learning to Appreciate CPAP
For most people, these devices are the best way to treat obstructive sleep apnea. The challenge for doctors and sleep specialists is to convince the wary that they’re better off with one than without it.
Aside from poor Zzz’s, though, people who don’t get treatment for the problem face a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, and other health problems.
But most of the time, Rapoport says he tells his patients they can’t knock CPAP until they’ve tried it.
“I would tell people, ‘Try it. Use it part of the time. Let’s get you to the point where you see the benefits. You don’t have to believe me. You’ll see it,’” he says.
Parthasarathy says many of the people he points toward CPAP do see the benefits, some more quickly than they imagined.
“I had a patient tell me that he felt like he walked across a desert and finally found water,” he says. “I get comments like, ‘This is the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long, long time.’ Or, ‘I have dreams now. And it’s been a long time since I remember having a dream.’”