Millions of people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea find relief with the help of CPAP machines. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where the patient’s airway passage closes during sleep so that breathing stops momentarily. CPAP machines provide a constant airflow which holds the airway open during sleep, providing uninterrupted breathing and a restful sleep.
Patients with sleep apnea feel constantly tired and may become irritable and unable to focus on their work. They may also suffer from high blood pressure, coronary disease and diabetes. Chronic snoring is one symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. If you suspect that you have this sleep disorder, you will have to be examined by your doctor.
A sleep study is required to reach a proper diagnosis of your sleep disorder. This involves sleeping in a clinic or private room while your sleeping pattern is observed using probes and monitors. If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor will give you a prescription for a CPAP machine. The doctor will also have you stay overnight to determine the proper settings for your machine.
The machine works by pushing air through the airway at a pressure high enough to prevent the airway passage from closing and causing apnea. The air is delivered through a flexible hose that connects the CPAP machine with a mask or similar interface device worn over the nose or the nose and mouth.
Being a medical device, CPAP units must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before they can be sold. A physician’s prescription is also required before you can obtain a CPAP machine.
Different types of CPAP machines are being offered by CPAP manufacturers.
These machines are usually about the size of a shoebox although some can be smaller. Different machines have different features and can cost from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Purchasing or renting one is usually covered by insurance, although there may be restrictions. Some insurance companies cover only certain types of CPAP units.
Although obstructive sleep apnea can be treated successfully with a CPAP unit, many people are reluctant to use one because they feel they cannot get comfortable with the CPAP mask and may not like having their faces covered.
The benefits of CPAP therapy, however, far outweigh any inconvenience or issues resulting from the use of the machine. Your body needs a good sleep and once you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea a CPAP machine will help you get the sleep that you need.