Once you complete your sleep study and Dr. Beyene makes a diagnosis, he will make an appropriate recommendation for treatment of your OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). One common treatment is the use of a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine to keep your airway open while you sleep.
CPAP therapy is the gold standard when it comes to treatment of OSA.
How CPAP Therapy Works
CPAP therapy works by increasing air pressure in your airway while you sleep so that the back of your throat does not collapse and cause loud snoring or interrupted breathing. You will use a mask, which is connected to the machine by a tube that delivers air in order to achieve these results.
Many machines allow you to start at a lower pressure and work up to where you need to be for successful treatment of your OSA. Machines often have adjustable humidity for your comfort and to prevent your nasal passages from drying out. Modern CPAP machines are quiet and compact and travel much easier than earlier models.
Benefits of CPAP Therapy
OSA is a serious condition that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, weight gain or obesity, acid reflux, asthma, and accidents due to fatigue. Untreated OSA can also cause depression, sexual problems, and memory loss.
CPAP therapy successfully treats OSA and provides relief, as well as health benefits, for many patients. It is the first line of treatment in moderate to severe sleep apnea. Many patients get used to using their CPAP machine within a couple of weeks. Giving yourself time to adjust to using a CPAP machine is essential. Most patients are pleased with their results once they adjust to their treatment.
If you have trouble adjusting, speak to your doctor about different mask options and machine settings that might feel more comfortable.
Challenges with Compliance
CPAP therapy does have its drawbacks. About 40% of the patients whose doctors recommend CPAP therapy do not comply with use of the CPAP machine. They may have difficulty falling sleep or getting used to the sensation of the air in the mask. Many people even unintentionally remove their masks in their sleep. If you experience problems such as an uncomfortable mask, dry nose or throat, skin irritation, trouble falling asleep, or dry mouth, call Sleep! so that we can find a solution that works well for you. Today, you have many options for successful treatment.
It may take some getting used to, but for many patients, the benefits of CPAP therapy pay off with increased health, energy, and alertness.
If your doctor recommended CPAP therapy to you but you are unsure and still have questions, call our California, MD sleep treatment center. Our helpful team can answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you find the best solution for your health and lifestyle. At Sleep!, we offer free consultations so you can discuss your questions and concerns with Dr. Beyene.