Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (mostly referred to as CPAP) is one of the leading therapies for sleep apnoea. Users of the machine wear a mask either over their face or nose while they sleep. That mask is connected to a pump and it gives off a positive flow of air in the patient’s nasal passages which helps to keep the airways open. Many insurance companies will cover the cost of sleep testing and CPAP treatments.
Dental appliances could also be prescribed to relieve mild sleep disordered breathing. But, it seems that their not as effective for everyone with sleep apnoea. Doctors will usually suggest weight loss for those people who are overweight and tend to snore or suffer from sleep apnoea as this can improve breathing during your sleep.
Most people who use the CPAP machines with a mask report finding immediate symptom relief and are thrilled with the increase in their energy levels and mental sharpness throughout the day. There are some patients who tend to find the CPAP masks uncomfortable and while it may control their sleep apnoea, they need additional assistance to get a mask that fits properly. The side effects are typically very mild and temporary and include sore eyes, nasal congestion, abdominal bloating and headaches. The good news is that most people get used to CPAP over two or so weeks.
Another big benefit of these machines is that they also benefit bed partners. According to studies, a lot of partners are driven away from the bedroom as they can’t sleep with the sound of snoring. CPAP silences those noises, though.
One of the most important factors in patient compliance is follow-up. Health professionals possess the compliance reporting tools that will let them help patients with CPAP treatment as soon as they begin making use of the machine.
Different Kinds of CPAP Machines
There are several different types of CPAP machines.
The automatic CPAP machines work to adjust the pressure for the patient throughout the night. There are many benefits to be had with automatic machines. These machines sense snoring sounds, sleep apnoea, hypopnoeas and then increase the pressure to counteract them. Once the ideal pressure is reached, it can be maintained for a while. The pressure is then slowly reduced until the machine senses an event that requires it to increase the pressure once more. By doing this, the unit delivers just the right amount of pressure at all times.
- Fixed Pressure
Contrary to the automatic machines, fixed pressure machines will not respond to events, but rather blow air at the prescribed pressure to which the machines have been set.
The humidifier CPAP machines will add warmth and moisture to the air, reducing the dryness in the patient’s nose and throat. By improving the patient’s comfort, it promotes compliance with the CPAP treatment. Not all makes of CPAP machines have heat humidifiers, though.
Many CPAP machines come with an optional DC power adaptor and can even be sued from a lighter socket in a boat, caravan or car. Others come with a portable lithium ion battery pack, too, and can be used when out and about or even on an aeroplane.
CPAP machines have proven an effective treatment for sleep apnoea patients.