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Demystifying Sleep Apnea and its Treatment Options

Demystifying Sleep Apnea and its Treatment Options

An estimated 6.4 % of Canadians have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. This diagnosis is associated with cardiac related diseases as well as obesity and diabetes. It affects both men and women and can have impacts on your overall health. The most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This is a serious disorder that causes your breathing to stop many times throughout the night.


Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Long pauses in your breathing while you sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability and mood changes


How Sleep Apnea diagnosed?

Sleep Apnea can be diagnosed using an at home test or by going to a sleep lab to have an overnight Sleep Study. The type of test that is prescribed for you, depends on the province in which you live and their standard of practice. These tests use technology to measure certain aspects such as your breathing rate, heart rate, brain waves and blood oxygen saturation levels.

How can Sleep Apnea be Treated?

The most common and effective type of therapy is the use of a CPAP machine, although the severity of your Sleep Apnea can sometimes be decreased by changing certain lifestyle factors such as:

  1. Sleeping Position: Sleep Apnea is typically worse while lying on your back. By changing your sleeping position to your side and utilizing a positional sleeping pillow, such as a wedge pillow- It helps to elevate your upper body and open your airway wider, allowing for more air flow. Discover some positional pillows on and find the right one for you.


  1. Exercise: Physical fitness can improve your cardiovascular health as well as decrease your risk for obesity. Weight loss may be prescribed in conjunction with CPAP therapy.


Tip: Start slow and easy. Seated ellipticals or small pound weights can elevate your heartrate without the need to even be standing. Click here to find exercise equipment at that you can use to improve your cardio.


  1. Regular Sleep Routine: Going to bed and waking up at similar times every night allows your body to experience all the sleep cycles. 7-9 hours per night are recommended for most adults.


Tip: Sleeping aids and sound machines can make these routines easier to stick to. Click here to see products to help you bring better sleep home on


What is CPAP therapy?

CPAP is the acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. To simply put, it is a mechanical device that pushes a prescribed amount of air pressure (room air), into the airway using a face mask to hold it open and prevent it from collapsing during sleep.

What are the benefits of using CPAP Therapy?

Consistently using your prescribed CPAP therapy every night can leave you with a multitude of health benefits. You can experience increased energy, better moods, and decrease in headaches. Your heart will also thank you, by decreasing your risk of a heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.

How to Improve the comfort of using CPAP therapy?

CPAP therapy can sometimes be challenging to adjust to or even make comfortable. See below for some suggestions on how to keep your therapy comfortable and easy to maintain:


  • CPAP Mask: Always ensure your mask is clean, comfortable, and the right size for you. Simple cleaning solutions such as mask wipes are available for easy daily cleaning and CPAP mask creams are safe to use and available to protect your face from mask irritation and moisturize your sensitive facial skin. Manufacturers typically recommend changing out your mask every 6 months as your silicone will break down over time causing a less than ideal seal to your face. Sizing guides and CPAP Consultants are available to help you find the ideal mask and size for you. Find here various CPAP accessories on to help keep your CPAP masks and equipment well sanitized.


  • Heated Tubes: Using a heated tube for your CPAP therapy can increase your comfort by maximizing the humidity the machine is able to deliver to your airway. Humidity overall makes therapy feel more comfortable and natural. Heated tubes can also reduce the occurrence of ‘Rainout” or water collected in your CPAP tube.


  • Travelling: Travel size CPAP machines are available to decrease the amount of technology to haul on your next adventure. CPAP batteries are also available should you be travelling somewhere where power may be a luxury.


  • Distilled Water: Distilled water is to be utilized in CPAP therapy as it is free of minerals and bacteria. You will experience a cleaner, healthier therapy and less residue buildup in your humidifier chamber. Cleanable humidity chambers may be available for your CPAP machine to conveniently wash in your dishwasher.


  • CPAP Pillows: These pillows are available to reduce mask leakage and can be purchased in many shapes/sizes. Hose lifts are also another option to decrease mask leak by reducing of pull created on your mask from your tube. Hose lifts can be used in conjunction with your CPAP pillow.


Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential part of maintaining good health. Sleep Apnea is a diagnosis that is treatable, and many options are available to make CPAP therapy easy and convenient! With Wellwise by Shoppers, you can look to Schedule your in-store CPAP and Sleep Apnea Therapy consultation today and one of our highly trained sleep consultants will be happy to offer one-on-one guidance toward a better night’s sleep. Wellwise by shoppers also provides a wide range of CPAP and Sleep Therapy products. Click here to start exploring products to help you sleep better everyday.


The information presented in this blog post is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this post as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for professional counseling care. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.



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