(Cornwall, Ontario Canada)
I have been told by a friend that people can get addicted to the CPAP and have to use oxygen all the time and to avoid the CPAP at all costs.
Is this true?
It's true that some CPAP users experience the "feeling" of CPAP addiction
This addiction is expressed as a difficulty of falling asleep without the CPAP. You can call it psychological dependence
if you want, because there are psychological reasons for this "problem".
We already know that having a successful CPAP is not easy and straightforward. There are a lot of CPAP mask problems
that may appear, such as:
However, some persons can fall asleep so much better with a CPAP machine, that the difference from before and after CPAP therapy is amazing. In fact, the benefits of sleeping with a breathing machine is amazing.
For these persons, CPAP addiction consists of knowing and feeling the difference between sleep and good sleep
. If they nap without the mask, it is not
a restful sleep and they feel it.
Not using a CPAP wrecks your cardiovascular system (leading to atrial fibrilation and other problems), among other systems. Even just for naps.
The fear of dying in sleep is another incentive for using a CPAP every time you sleep. Using the machine can make you feel relaxed and willing to sleep much easier.
In other words, when you feel the CPAP addiction, the body somehow psychologically knows the apnea episodes will occur when trying to go to sleep without the breathing machine. It's like your body fights going to sleep because of all the stress it would go through.Bottom line...
You can call it CPAP addiction, psychological dependence, or whatever. But if you have sleep apnea, you need CPAP to sleep, just like you need a pillow and a blanket.
Can you sleep without a pillow and blanket? Yes, but it will be difficult, because is so much better with them. You are hooked with your pillow.
Personally, I don't think there is such thing as a CPAP addiction. As an analogy, people need glasses to see. When they take their glasses off, their vision isn't blurry because they have become addicted to their glasses. Their vision is blurry because their eyes are physically not ideal.
You need a CPAP because your throat anatomy and physiology is not ideal (don't worry, many of us are imperfect). Using a CPAP does not make it worse.
I don't think we get addicted to CPAP. I just think we sleep so much better with them we don't want to go without.
I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back. Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide