CPAP, the abbreviation for continuous positive airway pressure therapy, is a treatment technique for patients with sleep apnea. CPAP devices utilize mild air pressure to keep the airways open and are commonly used by patients who have breathing problems during sleep. More precisely, what CPAP therapy helps accomplish is ensuring that your airway doesn’t collapse when you breathe while asleep.
What CPAP Therapy Looks Like
CPAP therapy involves a CPAP device, which comprises the following:
A mask that conceals your nose and mouth, a mask that covers your nose only, or even prongs that fit into your nose.
A hose that connects the mask to the CPAP machine’s motor.
A motor that blows air into the hose.
Who Is It For?
CPAP therapy is one of the most recommended treatment choices for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, in which not enough air reaches your lungs. CPAP therapy is also is used to treat children whose lungs have not fully developed. The CPAP device blows air into the baby’s nose to help inflate his or her lungs.
When you are prescribed to a CPAP device, you will work with your sleep technologist to ensure that the settings that are prescribed to you work best for you. Every sleep technologist’s concern is that the air pressure from the device is enough to maintain your airway open while you sleep.
There are many types of CPAP machines and masks. Don’t be shy in letting your physician and sleep technologist know that the kind you’re working with isn’t the most comfortable.
The adjustment process for CPAP therapy varies in every patient. Some patients take months to change to CPAP therapy while others can take only a few days
Why Utilize CPAP?
Although there is a noted adjustment time to using CPAP therapy, following this method of treatment can significantly pay off.
Lower or eliminate daytime sleepiness, a symptom of sleep apnea.
Circumvent or significantly lower high blood pressure.
Side Impacts of CPAP Therapy
Some of the most common side implications from CPAP therapy are the following:
The feeling of claustrophobia under the CPAP mask
Nasal congestion or runny nose
But these side implications can be prevented if you check that your mask is fitted correctly. Nasal signs mentioned above can be alleviated through heated humidification of the CPAP air. Most CPAP devices come with a heated humidifier, so ensure you take advantage of this.
How Soon Will You Feel the Impacts of CPAP Therapy?
You will most likely feel the effects of CPAP therapy once you start it. Numerous studies have shown that the maximum effect of therapy is usually achieved in about 2 weeks. If you still feel sleepiness after 2-4 weeks, you should consult your sleep doctor on the underlying cause of persistent daytime drowsiness.