Basic Information about CPAP• CPAP is a breathing treatment method that stands for ‘continuous positive airway pressure’. People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and other serious respiratory ailments use CPAP machines to encourage a more restful sleep.
Basic Information about CPAP • Positive pressure is used to increase the amount of oxygen a patient is able to take in, without the patient having to work any harder in the process.
What Is OSA?• OSA stands for obstructive sleep apnea, and it is the primary reason that the CPAP treatment is used. OSA is a very serious condition that can even be life threatening in certain situations. As part of the condition, the breathing passages are blocked by tissue in the upper airway, disrupting sleep and making it difficult to breathe.
What Is OSA?• When someone has OSA, the muscles in the upper throat that usually let air flow into the lungs don’t work properly and the air passage doesn’t stay open like it should. When this happens, breathing stops and the body wakes up to get enough oxygen. The sleep disruption usually doesn’t last very long, but if it happens enough, the person isn’t able to reach the deeper stages of sleep and never gets totally rested. If you have moderate OSA, you’ll wake up between 15 and 30 times every hour, and if it is severe your sleep may be disrupted more than 30 times per hour.
The CPAP Machine • The CPAP machine is what is used for treatment, and it is designed to keep your airways open as you sleep. If the airways are kept open at all times, sleep disturbances can be kept to a minimum and both you and your sleeping partner can get a proper rest.
The CPAP Machine• The machine consists of a tank water and a filter, a tube, mask and a chin strap. The tank and filter are designed to remove impurities and the chin strap helps keep the mouth closed so the majority of breathing is down through the nose. After the mask in on and chin strap is in place the machine is turned on and a continuous flow of air is sent into the airway. The pressure that the machine creates prevents the airway from collapsing as it normally would, and you get to breathe free and clear all night long.
CPAP Benefits• Along with a much better night’s sleep, the CPAP machine provides several benefits. Some of these include:• Less drowsiness in the daytime• More energy• Better mood and focus• More complete blood circulation• Non-surgical• Better immunity
Common Patient Issues• While the CPAP machine does provide benefits, it isn’t completely without issues. Many patients have issues when they first start with the treatment. Some of these include:
Common Patient Issues• Trouble with the mask – it can be difficult to fall asleep with a mask on your face if you aren’t used to it. Sometimes, wearing the mask while you’re awake during the day can help you get accustomed to the feeling.•• Stuffy nose – a dry or stuffed up nose is perfectly normal with air being forced into it continuously. Of course, it isn’t going to do for you, so try turning up the humidity on the machine or using a saline solution to increase the moisture level in your nasal passage.
Common Patient Issues• Trouble with forced air – no matter how badly you need it, having air forced into your airways can be a little unsettling at first. A lot of machines have a low pressure feature to allow you to get used to the pressure slowly. Try this if you’re having trouble with the air pressure.•• Losing the mask overnight – sometimes, the mask just won’t stay on your face consistently while you sleep. Naturally, this defeats the whole purpose, so if it happens to you try switching to a different mask. You can also check the humidity level in case you’re removing it in your sleep from excessive dryness.
Things to Look For• As you use your CPAP machine and successfully treat your OSA or other sleep condition, it’s important to keep an eye on certain elements of your machine. Even with the utmost care, they won’t last forever and it’s important to replace each part as needed. Here are some things to watch out for as you continue to use your machine.
Things to Look For• Stiff or cracked cushions or pillows• Discomfort after using the machine• Colour change in the cushion• Discoloured filter• Colour change in the tubing• Leaks in the mask• Tears or holes in the tubing• Stretched headgear• Cloudy water in the chamber
Further Reading…• For further information about sleep apnea and how a CPAP machine can help, visit Profmed Healthcare Solutions today at http://cpapmachinestore.ca/