Monday, January 18, 2010

More info on CPAP

Hey again, so I thought I'd go over in a little more detail about one of the most widely used options to treat central sleep apnea and other sleep apneas, which is the use of positive airway pressure machines. These machines can either come in the form of autopap, cpap (continuous positive air pressure) or bipap (bilevel positive air pressure). Most units typically consists of a base unit, hosery, and mask (most often nasal or full face) with either some sort of chinstrap or headstrap. For persons with obstructive sleep apnea, the use of auto-pap or cpap would most often be sufficient. To remedy the main issue with obstructive sleep apnea, a partial or complete obstruction of the airway during sleep, cpap offers a constant flow of air pressure from the mask designed to prevent the collapse of the airway during respiration.

The cpap machine sets pressure accordingly to the user needs to prevent the collapse of your airway, which is determined by a physician or other certified healthcare personell after a sleep study. The cpap machine delivers a continual stream of compressed air, splinting the airway (keeping it open) so that unobstructed breathing becomes possible. A potential issue with cpap delivered through a full face mask, however, is that extra pressure is needed to exhale against the continual stream of air. This can make it unsuitable for certain people, including some of those suffering from central sleep apnea or mixed sleep apnea (a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea). Therefore, the use of a nasal cpap may be more appropriate for some people with central sleep apnea who would have difficulty maintaining proper breathing with the full face mask. Another potential issue with cpap that some people report is the potential for dryness in the throat and mouth from the continual stream of air. Humidifiers are available for most cpap machines, if they are not already installed, to help prevent this comfort issue from happening. I encourage anyone who has or knows anyone else with other issues or problems with cpap machines to leave their comments and concerns. Look to my next post for information about another positive airway pressure machine used to treat central sleep apnea, bipap.

Mike, M. RN, BSN
owner of

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. snoring surgery