Since CPAP therapy was introduced as a therapeutic treatment for obstructive sleep apnea in the early 1980s, the sleep disorder of sleep apnea has become increasingly well-understood and diagnosed by medical professionals. Millions of people use CPAP therapy safely and effectively every night, and right now there's no better treatment for sleep apnea. If you've already been diagnosed and are already using CPAP - or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure - to treat sleep apnea, then you're definitely on the right track toward living a more healthy and fulfilling life.

If you're like most CPAP users, though, you've struggled with compliance at some point, and you might have even stopped using your CPAP equipment altogether. Some studies suggest the compliance rate among those diagnosed with sleep apnea to be substantially less than 60%. Compliance is a problem with CPAP users, and it's understandable. After all, wearing a mask during sleep is foreign to most people. Listening to the sound of air flowing through the mask can be disturbing to some. Feeling the air blow onto your face and into your nose or mouth can be uncomfortable at first. I'm not trying to scare would-be CPAP users, but these issues are the reality that all new CPAP users must face. If analyzed logically, though, it's clear to most people that the benefits of effective CPAP therapy far outweigh all the relatively minor annoyances that must be overcome during treatment. A little ambient noise at night, for example, is a lot better than falling asleep during a meeting and losing your job. Or worse yet, falling asleep at the wheel and losing your life.

Clearly, anyone diagnosed with sleep apnea should seek a treatment solution right away. The health consequences of delaying treatment can be serious, and include an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Low blood oxygen saturation during sleep can have a devastating impact on the body. After seeking treatment, compliance with the treatment becomes the most important issue.

Increased compliance and positive outcomes for patients are the goals of doctors, CPAP manufacturers and home medical equipment providers. It goes almost without saying that patient education and support are both critical factors in the compliance rate among sleep apnea sufferers. Prescribing doctors are on the front lines with regard to education and support. The CPAP manufacturers do their part in helping to increase patient compliance by designing what they believe to be the most comfortable and effective masks and machines. Home medical equipment providers do their part in matching patients with the CPAP products that will be most suitable for the specific needs of the patient. Good home medical equipment providers also play a key role in education and support, and they also recommend and provide products specifically geared toward making the CPAP therapy experience more positive.

Helping patients associate positive feelings with their CPAP regimen can significantly increase compliance.

Aromatherapy has proven itself to be one of the methods by which CPAP users have grown not only to comply with their prescribed therapy, but to actually enjoy the nightly routine associated with using a CPAP machine and mask.

CPAP aromatherapy is simple. The only requirement is a soothing drop of aromatic essential oil to be placed near the air inlet port of the CPAP machine. The essential oil should be a natural and pleasing scent to which the user can associate positive feelings of enjoyment, serenity or satisfaction. As air is drawn into the CPAP machine the pleasing scent is delivered to the CPAP user, filling the user's mask with an aromatic scent that has a positive psychological impact on the user.

In describing her experience with aromatherapy, one of our customers said, "I have been using aromatherapy with my CPAP for a year and it has made a very uncomfortable situation actually pleasant."

While many CPAP users associate other positive feelings with CPAP therapy (like getting a great night of sleep, or feeling super refreshed in the morning, or having the energy during the day to exercise) it's sometimes difficult for patients to get to the point where they can experience those positive effects of their treatment. A patient may abandon therapy before the benefits are realized or recognized. Aromatherapy can be used as a tool to be used even just temporarily until the patient associates positive results with CPAP therapy. Once positive results are achieved, there is likely to be an even stronger positive association with the aromatic scents being used. With this strong association will come a desire to continue to use aromatherapy.

In the end, it doesn't matter what causes a CPAP user to comply with therapy. It might be that the patient simply looks forward to a pleasant aromatherapy experience at night. It might be that the patient recognizes and actually feels the life-altering benefits of sleep apnea treatment. Whatever the case, everyone knows that compliance is the key to successful therapy.

Now you know how aromatherapy can help CPAP users achieve compliance.

Author's Bio: 

Andrew Senske is the president of a leading online retailer of CPAP machines and CPAP masks for the treatment of sleep apnea. has served tens of thousands of customer online since 2001. For more information - including helpful articles designed to help you achieve compliance with your CPAP therapy - visit today.