Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

If you have significant sleep apnea, you may be a prime candidate for continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. Dr. Edward Hill describes CPAP and tells us more about this sleep-saving device in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. A CPAP machine has a mask, tubes and a fan. It uses air pressure to push the tongue forward. This opens the throat to air, and reduces snoring and apnea.

You should put your CPAP mask on whenever you sleep or take a nap. CPAP does not cure sleep apnea. But, when you use CPAP correctly, your sleep problems will get much better.

Your doctor may ask you to get a sleep study. During your sleep study, you will try different levels of air pressure to see which one helps your sleep apnea. In general, heavier people and people with severe apnea need higher air pressures.

Many people have small problems with CPAP, especially at first. Don't give up, even if you have some problems. Look for a support group in your area, so that you can talk with other people who also have sleep apnea.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.