What is CPAP?
CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure is the most effective treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea.
The CPAP machine is a device that provides gentle pressure through a mask that fits over your mouth and nose, or just over your nose to keep your airway clear and open through the night.
How does CPAP work?
The air pressure supplied by CPAP is adjusted so that it stops your throat from becoming narrowed or blocked during sleep. It is important to ensure that the mask fits properly and comfortably to avoid leak. There is a venting system which does leak air. This is normal.
There are many types of CPAP machines and masks and it is important to find the one that best suits you.
CPAP will treat your sleep apnea immediately; however it may take some time for you to feel better. It is not uncommon for many people to take some weeks to become used to wearing CPAP through the night. You may need to use it gradually and build to the point where you are wearing it for the duration of your sleep. It is important to have regular reviews and to ask for help early.
After the initial setup, you may need to have your CPAP mask or pressure adjusted on occasion for best results.
Are there any side effects?
CPAP treatment may cause side effects in some people. These side effects may include: dry or stuffy nose, irritated skin on your face, sore eyes from mask leak, headaches or stomach bloating and discomfort. If you’re having trouble with CPAP side effects, please ask your sleep physician for advise.
There are many solutions .These include adjusting the CPAP settings or the size/fit of the mask, or adding moisture to the air as it flows through the mask. A nasal spray may relieve a dry, stuffy, or runny nose.