What Are the Benefits of a CPAP machine?


It is estimated that 18 million adults suffer with obstructive sleep apnea or OSA, yet many of these people do not use a CPAP machine. Why? 

Simple answer is that many people are unaware they have a sleep disorder. If you sleep alone or live alone, it can be difficult to know.  Do you find yourself falling asleep at odd places? Like at a traffic light, or during a meeting?  Do you snore?  Do you wake up suddenly usually with a loud gasp? These are some of the more obvious symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

People who have sleep apnea but do not use their CPAP machine may be uncomfortable with the idea of sleeping while connected to a machine.  You might think it is big, noisy, or not worth the hassle; but truth be told, the CPAP machines of today are smaller, quieter, and more effective than ever before.

Doctors at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine understand your reservations about using CPAP therapy, and will help you select the best equipment.  Once you get used to it, you will wonder how you ever slept with a CPAP machine.  You will finally realize what it’s like to get quality, healthy sleep.

How does a CPAP machine work?

A CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine, is one of the most common treatments used to correct OSA.  CPAP therapy keeps your airway open by gently providing a constant stream of air through a mask you wear while you sleep. This allows for continuous breathing, so you will no longer snore or make gasping noises in your sleep. You will be able to sleep deeply through night and wake up refreshed.

The CPAP is a small machine that sits on your nightstand and attaches to your face by way of a mask and plastic tubing. The mask covers your mouth and/or nose. Some initial users may find the masks restrictive and may experience feelings of claustrophobia; however, it is very important for sufferers of OSA to stay on this therapy.

It is important to note that OSA can be a serious, life-threatening sleep disorder.  Untreated OSA can put you at risk for a stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, excessive tiredness or daytime sleepiness, irritability, and loss of concentration.

Tips for beginners

There are many things you can do to help yourself adjust to this new routine in your life, such as starting out slowly – using the CPAP for short amounts of time. Making sure the mask is a proper fit is imperative to comfortable sleeping. There are several different types of mask. The health care specialist at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine are knowledgeable and experienced in helping OSA patients adjust to the CPAP machine.

How does a sleep disorder affect my breathing?

Normally, when you lay down to sleep on you back, oxygen goes in through your nose or mouth, down through your throat, through your windpipe, and into your lungs.  With OSA, that pathway has become obstructed by the narrowing or closing of the airway.  As you sleep, the muscles in your neck relax. This can allow the throat to close or almost close. As air passes through the narrowed airway, it can make the sound we all know as snoring. OSA can also cause you to stop breathing.  This cycle can occur over and over, up to possibly 100 times a night, robbing you of adequate oxygen in the blood and sleep deprivation.

At Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, we can help you determine if you have sleep apnea by conducting a sleep study test called a polysomnogram.  During this study, doctors Dennis F. Kellar, MD, FCCP, DABSM and Madhu Gundavaram, MD can observe exactly how you sleep. Our doctors are board certified and fellowship trained in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, and sleep medicine.  We are committed to help you adjust to a new lifestyle with the CPAP.

To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors call 8154777350. You may also submit a CPAP equipment request on our website.

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