Because sleep apnea can be so dangerous, it’s important to make sure that you get treatment that’s effective for you. Fortunately, there are many sleep apnea treatment options, so we can work to match you with the one that’s best for you.
Although many people people are prescribed CPAP for their sleep apnea, it’s not good for everyone. To determine if CPAP is right for you, it’s important to take many factors into account, including personality. Research shows that your personality may make CPAP a poor choice for your sleep apnea treatment.
Some Personalities Have Difficulty with CPAP
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 13 previous studies conducted between 2000 and 2016 looking at personality and CPAP compliance. These studies used many different approaches to the problem, so it included insight into overall personality types as well as specific personality traits that led to poor CPAP compliance.
Researchers determined that type D personalities were most likely to have poor CPAP compliance. Two main traits define type D personalities. Type D personalities are more likely to experience negative emotions than other personality types. Type D personalities are also more likely to be socially inhibited.
But it’s more than just type D personalities that have difficulty with CPAP. People with hypochondriasis, a tendency toward denial, and distrust of authority are also more likely to have poor compliance with CPAP. Hypochondriacs are likely to focus on the side effects of CPAP–which can be significant–so they don’t want to keep up with the treatment. People in denial don’t want to believe that their sleep apnea is a serious condition and therefore they’re less likely to want a major intervention like CPAP. Similarly, those who distrust authority are less likely to listen to their doctor’s advice about sleep apnea and CPAP.
People are also more likely to have problems with CPAP if they feel that other people forced them to get treatment.
Oral Appliances Can Help
Oral appliances may be more compatible with people who have some of these personality traits. Because they are easier to comply with, have fewer side effects, and less intrusive, the barrier for acceptance is lower.
Plus, when people are prescribed CPAP and they’re unhappy either with their doctor or with the person who made them come in for treatment, getting an oral appliance can be a crucial bit of freedom that helps people feel more in control of their treatment and therefore more likely to comply.