What it stands for
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Mask
What it’s for
A respiratory aid that helps clear the airway while you sleep by fostering normal breathing. It also helps counter the effects of chronic snoring or other conditions that occur as a result of an obstructed airway.
- The pump comes in two main varieties. Fixed and automatic. The fixed pressure bit is pre-set, doesn’t oscillate, it provides a steady supply of air pressure throughout the night. The automatic air pressure, however, is more useful as it evaluates your changing needs as you sleep and adjusts the air-pressure output accordingly.
- The other component here is the CPAP mask. It comes in all sizes. These masks come in varieties that suit different conditions. A mask designed for chronic snoring will be slightly different from one design for different levels of sleep apnea. You need to consult a specialist to ensure you get the right fit.
How it works
The aim here is to restore a normal, more relaxed breathing pattern while you sleep. The pump and mask work together to push air pressure into your respiratory system while you sleep. This is mainly for people who have problems breathing while they sleep. This mild air-pressure prevents your airway from getting obstructed while you sleep, and it enables you to breathe normally.
The air pressure varies depending on what you need, and the kind of pump you get relies heavily on your underlying condition. Some respiratory tract disorders require a steadier, more direct airflow, while for some, fluctuations in breathing patterns require a solution that adjusts and adapts based on your needs while you sleep.
It is important to consult a specialist before you sign up for either one, this will help you know where you stand, and which type of pump will suit you best.
Does it work?
The experience varies substantially from one person to the next. This mostly depends on the extent of the complication, and if the person has an underlying respiratory tract infection. It also depends on the correct usage of the CPAP mas, as well as the extent of the obstruction in the patient. For some people, it may work after a few hours, for others, it may take much longer.
It takes getting used to, and before it begins to work for some people, they still have to contend with having to use it every day. The fact of the matter is, regardless of how long it may take to get accustomed to the CPAP mask, it does work, fast for some, gradually for others.
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CPAP is non-invasive, it treats a variety of respiratory problems and it allows you to sleep soundly and breathe normally. The extra flow of air into your airway may cause a bit of dry mouth, a bit of sneezing and an occasional runny nose, but other than that it has no adverse side effects, and it works for all ages.