Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is often the treatment of choice for people who have been diagnosed as suffering with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). This treatment works by preventing the air passage from narrowing or collapsing during sleep.
CPAP equipment continuously and gently blows slightly pressurised air through a nasal mask into the air passage. This prevents the collapse of the airway during sleep.
Once the air passage is held open by the use of CPAP, both breathing and sleep usually return to normal.
As part of your diagnosis, your hospital consultant may arrange for you to try CPAP in hospital. This is to ensure that the treatment is suitable for you and that pressure from the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure unit is tuned to your individual needs.
This is usually carried out over one or two nights. You will be fitted with a comfortable, close-fitting nasal mask, which is connected to the CPAP machine.
Other tests may also take place.
The first few weeks of use at home will show whether the CPAP equipment has improved your symptoms.
The long-term benefits of complying with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy are:
- Snoring stops
- Oxygen levels in the blood return to normal
- Restful sleep is restored
- No daytime sleepiness
- Less risk of high blood pressure
- Less risk of heart disease
- Less risk of heart attack
- Increased daytime alertness can reduce the risk of accidents