I have been using my CPAP since March so I am still a new-comer. I have noticed such an improvement and it was immediate. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea - about 65 apnea episodes a minute and my oxygen intake was extremely low. I can now drive again (I was falling asleep at the wheel!) and I no longer fall asleep during meetings, etc. I was also waking up almost hourly every night - I now sleep right through almost every night (occasionally my bladder still wakes me if I have had a lot of water to drink too close to bedtime). My blood pressure is back to normal and I am now able to resume donating blood. My fatigue has gone and my memory has sharpened again. I am evidently no longer snoring and I can watch TV without falling asleep. I honestly feel like the machine has changed my life. In fact, I feel like I've got my life back and I am so grateful for this second chance.
I live in Cape Town and have received excellent support, help and service from my provider - Sleepnet. There ARE wonderful providers out there - I don't know where you live. There ARE comfort issues to get accustomed to. However, I believe that through the right service provider it is possible to get the machine and mask that suits one best. I also believe that investing the time needed to grow accustomed to sleeping with a mask is well worth the health benefits.
I wish you loads of luck,