If you’ve been prescribed a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine to treat your sleep apnea, one concept that you should become intimately familiar with is CPAP Compliance. Quite simply, CPAP Compliance is a measure of how much you areeffectively using your CPAP machine while you sleep. By taking a look at your CPAP Compliance Report, you can get a good understanding of if you are sufficiently receiving the intended therapy. From there, you - and your doctor - can find ways to increase your Compliance Score, if need be.
Why CPAP Compliance Reports matter
First and foremost, your CPAP Compliance Report provides crucial information on how effectively you are receiving the desired CPAP therapy. Simply wearing the mask while you sleep is not enough as that does not guarantee you are receiving optimal therapy. By being able to read and understand your CPAP Compliance Report you can discern how well the machine is working for you and find ways to fix common problems.
Secondly, you may need to submit your CPAP Compliance Reports to your medical insurer, your employer, or even the government. Since Medicare and other medical insurance providers often subsidize 80-100% of the cost of the machine, they want to confirm that their money is not going to waste. If your machine routinely spends nights in the closet, if you tend to take it off part way through the night, or if it’s not performing as intended, then the insurer won’t justify the cost they’re paying. Furthermore, if you work as a driver, pilot, large machine operator, or other similar profession, your employer or the government will want to see your report. This is a safety measure to show that you are receiving adequate rest and are not at risk of daytime sleepiness that could result in property damage, bodily harm, or death to yourself or others.
How many hours per night is considered adequate Compliance?
The standard for Compliance is using your CPAP machine 70% of nights for a minimum of 4 hours per night. That means that out of a consecutive 30 day period, you need to use your machine for 22 nights, for a minimum of 4 hours each night. If you used your device for only 3 hours and 59 minutes, or less, on any of those nights, that night would not count as compliant. By meeting this requirement, your insurer will continue to subsidize the cost of your machine.
That being said, it is beneficial for you to receive CPAP therapy forevery hour ofeverynight. You were prescribed a CPAP device because it has been deemed a necessity in order for you to achieve healthy, restful, safe sleep. By not receiving continuous treatment while you sleep you are putting your health at risk. In the short-term, you’ll experience daytime sleepiness, reduced cognitive and physical performance, and possibly weight gain. Over time, untreated sleep apnea can lead to many health issues, such as: high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, asthma, and acid reflux. Therefore, it is critical that you aim for more than just the minimum Compliance level and maximize the effectiveness of the therapy.
Understanding your CPAP Compliance Report
To help you understand your CPAP Compliance Report, let’s define some common readings that you’ll find on your report. It is important that you are able to see all of these metrics, since Usage alone won’t give you an accurate picture of how much effective therapy you’re actually receiving. You need all four of these metrics, so be sure to choose a device that monitors and reports on all of them.
Apnea Hypopnea Index - or AHI - is a count of how many apneas or hypopneas you experience throughout the night. This occurs when the airway at the back of your mouth and throat collapses. This is measured as a rate of apneas per hour, which helps your doctor determine the severity of your condition.
This is a critical reading to look at as it can drastically affect your Compliance Score. Even if you use your device every single night for the full night, CPAP Leaks can result in a low Compliance Score. This is because leaks render the machine ineffective by significantly reducing pressure. Typically this results from air leaking out of your open mouth, which tends to happen when you sleep. Thankfully, SomniFix has created theultimate solution to stopping CPAP leaks, which can drastically boost your effective CPAP usage.
As the name implies, pressure is the key component of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy. The pressure generated by your device is what keeps your airway from collapsing, therefore preventing apneas from occurring. Pressure is typically presented as an average pressure from throughout the night or period of observation.
Quite simply, usage is the amount that you wear your mask, measure in time. Modern masks can tell whether you’re actually wearing the mask, or if you’ve just turned it on to try and trick the machine. Don’t try and trick the machine. If you are unhappy with your device, SomniFix can enable you to find comfort, satisfaction, and great sleep with it. It’s critical that you get the therapy that you’ve been prescribed.
How do I look up my CPAP Compliance performance?
The easiest way to find and view your CPAP therapy performance data is in the myAir app by ResMed. With this app, you can view nightly therapy data and sleep scores. You can also get sleep coaching based on issues that you are facing.
The #1 way to increase your CPAP Compliance
As mentioned earlier, meeting the minimum Compliance standards for using your CPAP machine is good, but you should be aiming to maximize the amount of time that you are receiving effective therapy. This will help you wake up feeling rested, energetic and ready to take on your day. It will also help you avoid the long-term health issues associated with untreated sleep apnea.
Beyond the obvious factor of not sleeping with your CPAP device nightly, or only wearing it for part of the night, there are multiple factors that impact your Compliance level. The number one factor that reduces Compliance is mouth leaks. When air escapes through gaps in our lips, it renders nasal masks and nasal pillows ineffective. Thankfully, SomniFix has developed the ultimate hack for eliminating mouth leaks instantly.
SomniFix + CPAP: The Sleep Apnea Power Couple
By using SomniFix Strips in combination with your nasal mask or nasal pillow, you can drastically increase the amount of CPAP therapy you receive on a nightly basis. Tens of thousands of CPAP users use SomniFix every night, leading to better sleep, more energy during the day, and long-term health benefits. Learn more about how SomniFix can help you (finally) get a great night’s sleep with a CPAP device. Don’t CPAP without SomniFix!
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