COPD, Sleep Apnea, And How Home Medical Equipment Can Help Sufferers Of Both
Cardiovascular and general respiratory issues become problems as most people get older — and in fact, they strike many people far before old age. One of the reasons why these medical problems often aren’t treated as well as they should be is because, for one thing, they tend to sneak up on people. For another, however, they often require constant treatment. Understandably, most patients don’t want to spend their lives in the hospital. Therefore, they may be reluctant to treat their medical problems as intensely as they should. In the past, this was even more of an issue — but today, there are lots of home medical equipment options available. From CPAP supplies to home oxygen systems, many medical supply stories sell a variety of different types of medical equipment. Using home medical equipment can be intimidating at first – there’s a learning curve, to be sure, and some patients and their loved ones feel concerned about using medical equipment without the constant help of a doctor. Medical equipment can be used by a trained medical aid, but many different forms of equipment are also very much usable for the average person. It’s just a matter of becoming familiar with your condition and taking the steps necessary to treat yourself as effectively as possible.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is one of the most common conditions that people often treat with home medical equipment — in this case, often CPAP machines. It’s also very common, despite the fact that many people don’t even know what it is. An estimated one in five adults has obstructive sleep apnea, and 75% of moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing causes go untreated. Sleep apnea essentially means that your breathing is disordered in your sleep — in fact, it may even stop entirely for a period of time. Now, sleep apnea on its own usually won’t kill you; but as the issues resulting from sleep apnea build up over time, severe health problems can ensue. This includes, but is not limited to, heart disease and even stroke. Sleep apnea often occurs because of a preexisting condition, like obesity, but it can be difficult to “cure”. Therefore, it is perhaps best treated through CPAP machines. CPAP machines, and other types of medical equipment like it, are basically masks that are placed over a sleep apnea sufferer’s face as they sleep. By pushing air into the lungs, these machines keep a person’s breathing regulated.
What IS COPD?
COPD stands for “chronic pulmonary obstructive disease”. A progressive disease, it worsens a person’s ability to breathe over time. Often, it creates a chronic cough that produces a lot of mucus, as well as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. This type of disease is usually the result of smoking, but lots of patients with COPD have never smoked. It can also follow exposure to pollutants and irritants, and occasionally is linked to a genetic predisposition. No matter why you have COPD, it’s important that you treat it diligently. Many doctors advise that COPD patients have oxygen supplies in their homes. This can drastically increase the quality of life for COPD patients, and even extend their lifespans. On average, the survival rate for a COPD patient that uses regular oxygen for at least 18 hours a day is double what can be expected for patients who don’t use supplemental oxygen. The typical COPD patient will need exposure to oxygen at least 15 hours a day.
How Do I Learn How To Use Home Medical Equipment?
Many hospitals offer programs that teach patients and their loved ones how to use home medical equipment. Though it may be scary at first, using home medical equipment rather than sending a person to a hospital or nursing home can make their lives much better and free. Some medical supply stores also offer courses on the use of home medical equipment. You’ll be glad that you learned how to use medical equipment at home.