CPAP (pronounced "see-pap")
- CPAP is abbreviation of "Continuous Positive Airway Pressure"
- CPAP is the gold standard and the most effective noninvasive treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
How does CPAP therapy work?
- CPAP pushes regular air from the flow generator through the tubing and mask
- air passes through the upper airways (nose or mouth and throat)
- while the slight pressure keeps the upper airway open
Beginning CPAP Treatment
The proper treatment pressure, a comfortable system, and good education often mean the difference between success and failure for CPAP users.
Successful treatment means better sleep and more waking hours.
It will also drop high blood pressure and resolve OSA symptoms, such as daytime fatigue, snoring and gasping.
Read more about some patients with successful treatment stories.
Successful CPAP users report improvements in:
- vitality and motivation
- job performance
- sexual drive and performance
- alertness while driving
- quality of life
- quality of sleep
A failure to use CPAP therapy may increase one's risk for conditions linked to untreated OSA:
- Hypertension (OSA increases your risk of hypertension by five times)
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
What is Titration?
- adjustment of your CPAP device pressure so that it delivers the optimal treatment pressure to keep your airway open.
- A "titration study" usually takes place in a sleep clinic and typically involves one night of monitoring and adjusting treatment settings. It's a detailed process involving a skilled technician. The reason it takes so long is that your pressure needs vary during the night, depending on sleep stage, body position, and other factors.
- The prescribed CPAP pressure setting that you go home with is the highest pressure needed over the course of a night. By prescribing the highest pressure, physicians hope to prevent as many apneas and hypopneas as possible. That's a good thing. The downside is the CPAP user must have that higher pressure at all times-even though it's only necessary for a fraction of the night.
A flow generator that pulls air through a filter and provides a set air pressure through a mask system to the patient.
Seals over the face to deliver the treatment pressure to the upper airway.
Moistens the delivered air to relieve nasal irritation and dryness that can result from constant air flow, especially at higher treatment pressures.
CPAP therapy will work for many people with OSA, but sometimes a different type of treatment is prescribed. Automatic Positive Airway Pressure therapy (APAP) automatically varies the pressure all through the night and from night to night. It actively responds to the continuous changes in your upper airway. .
Therefore it is very important to go for sleep apnea treatments under the guidance of a doctor.