Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is among the leading therapies for sleep apnea. Here, our Delta dentists describe how CPAP works, and how it can help you get a better night’s sleep.
Sleep apnea causes sufferers to stop breathing briefly during sleep. This can occur as many as 30 times in an hour, and is the result of their airways getting closed or blocked.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy involves a facial or nasal mask that is connected to a pump, and is worn during sleep. The mask and pump create a positive, regular flow of air into the nasal passages, effectively keeping the airway open.
The mask may go over the nose, fit under the nose, or go over the mouth and nose together, or fit over the entire face.
Side effects of CPAP are usually insignificant, and relatively short lived. They include sore eyes, headaches, nasal congestion, abdominal bloating, and general discomfort as the patient becomes accustomed to the appliance. Most people overcome these side effects and get used to their new sleep appliance over the course of 2 weeks to 3 months.
Most sleep apnea sufferers who use CPAP report immediate symptom relief, in particular a better night’s sleep. This in turn results in a steep increase in energy and mental sharpness throughout the day.