What is a CPAP machine ?
A CPAP is a machine that delivers constant air into a person’s airway. The CPAP pump gently pressurizes the surrounding air. The air is then blown into a tube and delivered to a mask. The air pressure keeps the throat open while the person is asleep. Many mask styles are available on the market to suit one’s needs (nasal, facial, hybrid etc.).
Is CPAP a good treatment for me? Is it a lifelong treatment?
After a sleep study (at home or at our clinic), our specialist will be able to determine your patient category:
- a patient with sleep apnea due to the anatomy of the airways
- a patient with hypertrophic tonsils
- an obese patient
Depending on the severity of sleep apnea, the specialist will be able to suggest different alternatives for treatment.
The benefits of a CPAP will be dramatically seen if the patient wears the machine at least 4 hours per night.
Patients often immediately experience positive results such as improvement in quality of nightly sleep, increased alertness during the day and prevention of serious health conditions such as stroke and cardiovascular disease.
It is a long-term treatment. Therefore, the patient must have a follow up with a doctor and a respiratory therapist.
Sleep Apnea Related to the Anatomy of the Upper Airway
Some people are simply born with smaller upper airways. It is often genetic and cannot be changed.
These patients will often use a CPAP as a long-term therapy unless there is a possibility of having surgery.
Sleep Apnea Related to Hypertrophic Tonsils
Deep in the throat lies a space called the Waldeyer’s Ring. There are pharyngeal tonsils (Adenoids), tubal tonsils (Gerlach’s Tonsils), palatine tonsils (“The Tonsils”) and lingual tonsils. These organs fight infection.
However, some people have a hypertrophy of these organs, meaning they’re bigger than normal.
Often, these patients will use a CPAP as a long-term therapy unless there is a possibility of having surgery.
Sleep apnea and obesity
There is a big correlation between obesity and sleep apnea. The fat that is stored in the neck suppresses the upper airway which leads to sleep apnea.
Some people can stop using a CPAP by losing weight. They must redo a sleep test after the weight loss to prove that their AHI (The Apnea–Hypopnea Index or Apnoea–Hypopnoea Index) is lower than 5 events/per hour (normal).
How do I maintain a CPAP?
We can provide some basic rules about the maintenance of your machine. Please contact us if it is defective and we will provide our quality assistance.
Where can I find parts and accessories for my CPAP?
We can provide some CPAP accessories for some models. See the related sections to find out which accessories are provided or call us directly.
If I cannot have / carry the CPAP, what are the alternative treatments?
Adherence to CPAP treatment is sometimes difficult. Some people tell us they can’t live with the idea “of having a CPAP all their lives.”
In these cases, we will discuss all alternative treatments available for sleep apnea. There are now a wide range of surgical and nonsurgical solutions that could better suit you.