CPAP Use Rises After Patients See Videos of Themselves

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder suffered by 20 million Americans that includes snoring, tossing and turning, and gasping for air during their sleep. This leads to troubled sleep, being exhausted during the day, and a higher risk of other conditions like strokes and heart disease.

The most common way of treating sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This is a mask people wear that is connected to a machine that pushes air through, keeping patient’s airways open. Unfortunately, because they are asleep when it happens, people don’t realize how bad and severe their situation is. So they end up not using their CPAP machine because it is bulky, or heavy, or loud.

For a new piece of research lead by Dr. Mark Aloia at National Jewish Health in Denver, doctors first tried showing patients videos of people with sleep apnea trying to sleep. It would show them gasping for air and flailing. However, patients didn’t really relate with the people in the video and would think they aren’t as bad as that, so it wouldn’t change their CPAP usage much.

Now, patients were shown videos of THEMSELVES trying to sleep. They would see THEMSELVES gasping for air and practically drowning in their sleep. This hit home and had a strong emotional resonance with the patients. Most importantly, CPAP usage went up three hours a night more on average than people who didn’t see videos.

Key Points:

  • 120 million Americans has trouble sleeping at night due to snoring, tossing and turning, and struggling to breathe at night.
  • 2Mr. Brugger was prescribed a CPAP Machine which helps keep the throat and airways open which he did not want to use due to the bulkiness.
  • 3Research study found that you cannot notice sleep apnea yourself and after showing Mr. Brugger a video of himself, he noticed a difference.

Watching himself struggling to breathe while sleeping made him change his mind about using the machine.

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