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Sleep Apnea CPAP

August 29th, 2009

Sleep Apnea CPAP information to be found on this page includes:-


Sleep Apnea CPAP –  Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

The idea behind the use of a Sleep Apnea CPAP machine is fairly simple. The Sleep Apnea CPAP unit is a small air pump which delivers pressurised air to a user via a long flexible tube which is connected to a mask that is worn during sleep.

The Sleep Apnea CPAP unit outputs a set air feed pressure that basically inflates and maintains an open airway during sleep. The CPAP pressure used is determined following a sleep study and review by a sleep specialist to be that pressure of air at which most (if not all) apneas are prevented.

The usefulness of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea was first reported in 1981, by a team from the University of Sydney.  This initial research was later extended to confirm the usefulness of CPAP for the treatment of central sleep apnea and snoring.

Today, Sleep Apnea CPAP is used worldwide and is considered the standard treatment for the sleep apnea.

CPAP is a managing tool not a cure for sleep apnea and must be used on an ongoing basis to control apnea. If the CPAP unit is not used for a night, regardless of how long the prior use has been, the problematic airway structures will most likely collapse and the apnea return.

Features of a Sleep Apnea CPAP Machine

The Sleep Apnea CPAP machine consists of three basic components

1) Air Pump or Flow generator provides the airflow for the treatment

2) Hose connects the flow generator to the interface

3) Interface  a nasal mask, nasal pillow or a full face mask to provide the connection to the user’s airway via the nose, mouth or both.

Useful additional features that are available and should be considered when purchasing a Sleep Apnea CPAP machine include;

Humidifier -adding a heated humidification unit to the basic Sleep Apnea CPAP machine should be considered a must for most users. Tests have shown using the heated humidifier increases comfort and extends the duration that the Sleep Apnea CPAP machine is used, as it will prevent drying of nasal airways a major downside of use of the machine and the heated air is more comfortable, particularly in colder climates.

Ramp Capability while not essential is another comfort feature used to start the machine at a lower more comfortable pressure to allow the user to fall asleep more easily. The pressure gradually rises to the target level Sleep Apnea CPAP pressure over a period of time that can usually be adjusted by the user.

Exhalation Pressure Relief: Gives a short drop in pressure during exhalation to reduce the effort required when you breathe out against the flow of the Sleep Apnea CPAP.

Data Logging when included in the Sleep Apnea CPAP unit records basic compliance info or detailed event logging that will help your sleep specialist understand your progress or problems.

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