WHAT DOES CPAP STAND FOR?
CPAP is an acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is one of the possible treatment options for patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MASKS?
Masks come in three main forms.
Nasal Pillow Masks. These masks either plug into the nose or cushion below it and allow air flow to be directed through the nose.
Nasal Masks. These masks cover the nose and allow air flow to be directed through the nose.
Full Face Masks. These masks cover both the nose and mouth. These masks allow air to be directed equally through the nose and/or mouth.
WHAT IS OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which breathing stops involuntarily for brief periods of time during sleep. Normally, air flows smoothly from the mouth and nose into the lungs at all times. Periods when breathing stops are called apnea or apneic episodes. In OSA, the normal flow of air is repeatedly stopped throughout the night. The flow of air stops because airway space in the area of the throat is too narrow. Snoring is characteristic of obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is caused by airflow squeezing through the narrowed airway space. Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health problems such as:
- heart disease
Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to preventing complications.
HOW DO I TREAT OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA?
The most common and successful treatment is CPAP therapy. In mild cases, a Mandibular Advancement Splint may be used. Surgery can be an option for some people.
HOW DOES CPAP THERAPY WORK?
CPAP therapy works by increasing air pressure in the upper airway. The CPAP unit creates an air flow via a tube connected to a mask which is sealed against the face. The air creates pressure in the upper airway and helps keep the patency of the airway to allow normal breathing to continue. Normal sleep is therefore maintained.
DOES CPAP THERAPY STOP ME FROM SNORING?
In most cases, CPAP will stop you from snoring. However, if snoring continues, seek professional clinical attention.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FIXED CPAP AND AN AUTO CPAP?
A fixed CPAP is set to a pressure prescribed by a physician or clinician. The unit will usually ramp up to the prescribed pressure over a set period of time.
An auto CPAP will have a minimum and a maximum pressure set by a physician or clinician. The CPAP unit will operate between these two pressures to ensure the your upper airway remains open.
WHAT IS THE LIFESPAN OF MY CPAP UNIT?
Quality CPAP units such as Resmed, Philips and Fisher & Paykel will last for 7-8 years. How you maintain and look after your CPAP will have a direct correlation on how long it will last.
DO I NEED TO SERVICE MY CPAP?
CPAP units are generally service-free except for cleaning filters fortnightly, changing the filters every 4 months and cleaning the humidifier chamber.
HOW LONG WILL MY MASK LAST?
The main items that will need replacing on your mask will be the cushion/seal anywhere from 12-18 months which will depend on many variables notably tightness and washing intervals.
Headgear will also require replacement every 12 – 18 months.