One of the most common types of therapy for obstructive sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). Simple in its concept, the CPAP device sends a gentle, steady stream of air through the nose and into the back of the pharyngeal cavity. The pressure delivered by the device prevents the collapse and blockage of the tracheal wall and soft palate thereby maintaining a patent airway.
Without proper guidance and encouragement, patients can easily become overwhelmed, even frustrated, ultimately resulting in poor compliance. Because various published studies have indicated that the first month of CPAP usage is crucial to compliance, The Sleep Center of Nevada has developed a unique management program. The program offers intensive patient counseling and education, monitoring for problems and compliance and follow-up for a full year. Our team works with the patient throughout the entire process. During the year, our staff ensures the highest possible compliance by monitoring the patient’s progress through clinic visits and phone calls. Progress reports are sent to the ordering physician to keep them informed.
CPAP compliance for sleep apnea patients is the key to maintaining good health and preventing the onset of more serious consequences such as:
CPAP is an acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. By applying a positive pressure into the back of your throat, it will keep your airways from collapsing while you sleep.
BiPAP is an acronym for Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure which gives you a level of pressure as you breathe in and a lower pressure as you breathe out. PAP was applied during your recent sleep study and helped to reduce the number of times you either stopped breathing or had periods where you were not getting a full breath of air. More importantly, PAP has the potential to reduce respiratory events and improve sleep quality.
Yes, there are many different masks. Our team can work with you to find the most comfortable for you. Our physicians, mid-level providers, and sleep technicians can work with you to find the right mask. They will provide you with training on how to use the equipment with follow up visits to make sure you are successful.
PAP therapy can be a lifetime treatment for most. It remains the single most effective treatment for sleep apnea.
Most modern PAP equipment is small and lightweight. Most people take their PAP unit wherever they travel to so that they don’t miss out on a good nights sleep.
Whatever your decision is, you should at least try it for a month or two. If after trying it and deciding it’s not for you, you should at least look into other treatment options. Sleep apnea, if left untreated can lead to more serious problems later in life. Whatever you do, you should discuss this with your physician.
Optimal CPAP therapy is every night and you should try to keep it on the entire night. In the research studies that showed benefit of CPAP, patients were using CPAP at least 5 hours/night at least 5 days a week. You will do best if you use it every night.
Your DME provider should provide you instructions on how to care for your CPAP equipment. In general, it is advised to clean your equipment – mask, tubing, and water chamber – at least once a week. Depending on the type of filters you have for your machine and the type of your machine, you may need to clean and/or replace your filters every 2-4 weeks. Your CPAP equipment prescription is good for one year, and it should include tubing, filters, and mask cushion replacements. Please ask your treating provider for a prescription should you need one.
In general, you may remain on CPAP for the rest of your life, unless your sleep apnea resolves or improves with other treatment modalities, such as weight loss, surgical interventions, or an oral appliance. In general, you need to lose 10% of your body weight to improve your breathing disorder. Weight loss may improve the severity of your sleep apnea but not necessarily cure it.