Hi Jim. Damage from untreated OSA is cumulative, so in one sense you're right.
(That's assuming that non-use of CPAP doesn't cause a heart attack or stroke on a particular night. Some of us are at high risk for that, others aren't.)
I think it depends on the individual person, on how severe the OSA is, and what other health problems the person has.
If someone has congestive heart failure or breathing problems severe enough that they can't fall asleep or stay asleep without CPAP, then I would imagine they're less likely to agree that it's okay to skip using it for a few nights.
I personally don't feel noticeably worse in the morning after just one night sleeping without CPAP. I think that has made it more difficult for me to use the therapy regularly.
That's one reason I decided to buy a recording oximeter (CMS50D+). I found that my pO2 spends a lot of time around 88% and frequently dips to the low 80s when I sleep without CPAP.
There's also the issue of how I sound when I sleep without CPAP. I really wouldn't want to subject anyone else to having to listen to that.
I also don't like to subject myself to experiencing that. I was frequently having dreams that I was being strangled or choked prior to being diagnosed with OSA.
I've been using CPAP therapy for a little over six months, but with only four months of regular use. I have spent a lot of that time trying to convince myself that I need to use CPAP every night or almost every night.
My goal is to resolve all the problems that may be making CPAP therapy uncomfortable for me, so that I'll want to use it. When I'm lying down, my breathing is noticeably more comfortable with the CPAP machine even while I'm awake.
My blood pressure is finally dropping to a successfully controlled level. Treatment-resistant hypertension was the main factor in my being referred for a sleep study.
I switched from a nasal mask to nasal pillows last month, and my comfort level has gone up tremendously. I'm pretty psyched about that.
To answer your question about whether I take breaks from therapy, though, yes, I'm still doing that. I haven't had a month yet with 100% usage. In May, I skipped 2 nights out of 31.
I don't know how I'll feel after a year and a half of CPAP use.
Right now I'm still in the stage of being happy about what the therapy is doing for my health and trying to troubleshoot comfort issues.
(06-04-2016, 09:57 PM)Jim Bronson Wrote: Anyone take occasional breaks from therapy? I've been on CPAP for about 1.5 years, and I've used it continuously over that period except for once or twice when I've been ill and during a couple of brief vacations. I didn't notice much difference in how I felt in the morning during those breaks, and I slept about as well as I do while using the therapy.
I'm thinking that taking a break once in a while doesn't do any harm.