What is CPAP?
POSTED 12 Jul 2015

Continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A small machine supplies a steady and constant air pressure to prevent the airway from collapsing as one breathes.

CPAP Machine Overview

A CPAP machine not only keeps the patient’s airway open but also reduces snoring. It has three primary components: a mask that either covers the nose, mouth or both; an air pump; a flexible tube to link the mask and air pump. A CPAP machine also has a small tank of water and a filter to purify and increase the humidity of air.

Though majority of OSA patients prefer to use nose mask, there are those who prefer to use a set of prongs for the nose. There are brands of CPAP machines that have integrated chinstrap to keep the mouth closed to prompt breathing through the nose. A continuous pressurized flow of air passes through the tube then into the mask and finally to the airway. The prescribed air pressure released by the CPAP machine effectively prevents the patient’s airway from collapsing or becoming blocked. The patient then enjoys uninterrupted breathing, affording him a restful and peaceful night’s sleep.

CPAP Efficacy

CPAP is highly effective in treating other types of sleep apnoea. Studies indicate that CPAP therapy decreases daytime sleepiness for those who suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnoea. Nasal continuous positive airway pressure or NCPAP has been found to lower a person’s blood pressure. Studies further indicate that patients with coronary artery disease are less likely to have heart problems if they use CPAP control sleep apnoea. It is the best non-surgical method for the treatment of OSA.

Common Risks

Generally, patients who use CPAP do not encounter any problems. However, there are some who experience difficulty when using CPAP machine. The most common problem is difficultly in falling asleep using the mask. There are those who feel claustrophobic when wearing a CPAP mask. Getting used to pressurized air into one’s airway takes time too. Other problems that may occur with CPAP use are:

• Dry nose and sore throat.
• Irritation of the eyes and the skin on the face.
• Nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing
• Leaks around the mask because it doesn’t fit properly
• Abdominal bloating

Nosebleeds almost never happen when using CPAP machine.

It is normal to feel discomfort when one has only started using a CPAP. It is imperative that a patient sticks to his CPAP therapy for the efficient management and treatment of OSA or any other form of sleep apnoea. Given some time, the patient gets used to the machine.

Do you have OSA? Perth CPAP can help you. We have the qualification, expertise and experience to diagnose and present treatment options for your sleeping disorder.

Give us a call NOW at 1300 744 441 or drop by one of our clinics. We are located in Perth and Joondalup, WA.

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