What is CPAP?
CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) is a relatively small machine that uses air pressure to open the throat at night to prevent snoring, choking, and sleep apnea events. The gold standard for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP is almost always recommended by the Sleep Doctor (and is sometimes required by insurance) for at least a period of 2-3 months. During this time you can try several different types of masks from large full face to small nasal pillows to find which type works best for you.
There have been many advances in the use of CPAP from quieter CPAP machines, to more comfortable masks and hoses that bend easier and are less obtrusive. Many sleep centers or CPAP suppliers provide assistance in the fitting process and make finding the right equipment for you easy and pain free.
If you do feel the need to explore the use of a CPAP machine, we highly recommend a locally-owned and operated company, Everything CPAP.
If you have tried CPAP and have not been able to make it work for you, in spite of trying many different masks, then don’t fret, there are other options. Dental sleep appliances are less obtrusive than a CPAP and are often tolerated well after just a couple days of use. For more information about oral appliance therapy, check out our Oral Appliances page!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Linked Health Issues
Sleep Apnea is also considered a risk factor for several serious health problems, such as:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Attack
*Note that most insurance companies consider the treatment of snoring as a “cosmetic” issue, and therefore won’t cover the cost of treatment.
Affects Children Also
Sleep apnea also affects children. Usually this is due to the child having large tonsils that obstruct the airway; just like in adults, often snoring is a sign of an obstructed airway. Some of the problems common in children that have been linked to sleep apnea include:
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Mood disorders
- Bed wetting
- Problems learning
- Growth problems
To see if your child may be at risk, view the video of sleep apnea in children.
Affects Sleep Partner
Sleep apnea can also adversely affect the sleep of the bed partner of the person with sleep apnea. Please click the link to read a study done by the Mayo Clinic on the effect of sleep apnea and snoring on the bed partner.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
The quality of your sleep greatly affects your quality of life. The good news is that help is readily available from a sleep apnea clinic and usually doesn’t require medications. If you think you may have sleep apnea or you know someone who might, please ask us for a referral to a qualified sleep specialist in your area, or talk to your primary care doctor. Treating sleep apnea can add more life to your years and more years to your life.
Oral appliance therapy has become a widely used and accepted method of treating sleep disordered breathing. The gold standard therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Although CPAP is usually very effective in treating OSA, there are many patients who are not able to tolerate its use. If you have tried to use CPAP but have given up on using the therapy, an oral appliance may be for you. Contact CPC Idaho, your sleep apnea clinic, for a consultation.