CPAP: The Key to Better Looks?

sleep apnea machine attractive youthfulTerrence looked tired all the time.  I blamed it on his four children.  After all, when he said he couldn’t sleep, it made sense that his 2 year old daughter and infant son were keeping him and his wife up at night.  As it turns out, it wasn’t the kids at all:  Terrence suffers from sleep apnea.  Dealing with the condition for nearly two years was wearing on him.  Several weeks ago he was prescribed a CPAP machine by his physician, and the change has been remarkable.  He now walks around with renewed energy.  “It changed my life,” he says.  “No… it saved my life.”

I can’t argue with his words, no matter how dramatic they seem.  (According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep apnea is a serious illness that is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression and stroke.)  The truth is, he does seem dramatically happier.  His eyes appear wider; he smiles more.  He’s not as moody and grouchy as he used to be.  I’m genuinely happy for him AND his family.

You’re Looking Good:  CPAP Helps

Science now backs up the idea that a CPAP machine can make you look better. The University of Michigan’s Sleep Disorders Center has published research that suggests that people who suffer from sleep apnea appear “more alert, youthful and attractive” after at least two months’ use of a prescribed CPAP machine.

Dr. Ronald D. Chervin was the principal investigator of the research. He states that both medical personnel and community members notice improvements. Alertness, attractiveness, and youthfulness all seem to improve after CPAP machine use for two months or more.

There is also photographic evidence: high-precision 3D images were taken of the patients’ faces at the outset of CPAP use; after two months of use, additional photographs were taken. The images were analyzed by computer software and ranked by human volunteers.

What were the results? Judging on the basis of alertness, attractiveness and youthfulness, 64 to 68% of the responses identified the post-treatment images as being improved. The imaging software corroborated the human opinions.

Overall, what does this mean for CPAP users?

Perhaps it will be a motivating force for those who are using their machines sporadically or improperly to hold true to their course of treatment as prescribed by their doctor.

So the next time someone says, “You’re looking great!”  He or she can say, “Thanks.  It’s my CPAP machine.”

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