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CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy CPAP (procounced see-pap) stands for continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP patients wear a face mask during sleep which is connected to a pump forcing air into the nasal passages at pressures high enough to overcome obstructions in the airway and stimulate normal breathing. The airway pressure delivered into the upper airway is continuous during inspiration and expiration. Nasal CPAP is currently the preferred treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP is safe and effective, even in children, however some people are unwilling or unable to put up with sleeping with such an apparatus. If used, tissues are prevented from collapsing during sleep, and apnea is effectively prevented without surgical intervention. Daytime sleepiness improves or resolves. Heart function and hypertension also improve as does the quality of life. At first, CPAP patients should be monitored in a sleep lab to determine the appropriate amount of air pressure. The first few nights on CPAP tend to be difficult, with patients experiencing less sleep. Many patients at first find the mask uncomfortable. CPAP is not a cure and must be used every night for life. Non-compliant patients experience a full return of obstructive sleep apnea and related symptoms. Of course, all this ignores the causes of sleep apnea which are toxicity, excess weight and stress.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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