There are machines that sleep apnea patients can wear at night to reduce their apneas. The C-PAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is a machine that blows air into your nose via a nose mask, keeping the airway open and unobstructed. For more severe apnea, there is a Bi-level (Bi-PAP) machine. The Bi-level machine is different in that it
blows air at two different pressures. When a person inhales, the pressure is higher and in exhaling, the pressure is lower. People with the most common form of sleep apnea usually start treatment with CPAP. The BIPAP machine is more often used to treat central sleep apnea. The BIPAP machine may also be used if you are unable to tolerate using a CPAP machine due to discomfort breathing out against
Oxygen may be added to the PAP system to correct for low oxygen levels due to existing lung or heart disease.
What these machines look like is a light mask is worn over the nose during sleep. The mask is attached to hoses and a band usually around the forehead. The hose is attached to the machine that forces air pressure into your airway. This air pressure holds the throat open and allows normal sleep and breathing. Approximately 60 to 70% of patients who try CPAP are able to continue to use it,
while the rest find the mask too uncomfortable for various reasons. CPAP masks come in all different sizes and shapes, since everyone’s face is a little different, and some even cover the nose and mouth.
Our office encourages the serious sleep apnea patient that needs a CPAP machine to use one, but sometimes they can be intolerable. We find that many people may want an alternative to a nightly machine. We would like you to come into our office for a consultation with our knowledgeable staff to determine if we have another easier option for you.