Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the leading treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It is typically first option for treatment. CPAP therapy keeps your airway open during the night by gently providing a constant stream of air through a mask you wear while you sleep. This eliminates the breathing pauses caused by sleep apnea, so you will no longer snore or make choking noises in your sleep. You will be able to sleep through the night without your body waking up from a lack of oxygen. At Golden Gate Sleep Centers, Dr. Puja Thakkar offers numerous diagnostic and treatment options at her two locations in Danville and Fremont, California, helping patients get much-needed sleep. If you’re interested in how CPAP equipment can help improve your sleep or need to purchase CPAP equipment, call or use the online scheduling tool to request an appointment.
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) delivers constant airflow to people while they sleep. CPAP is often referred to as “the gold standard” treatment option and is the most commonly prescribed.
APAP (automatic positive airway pressure) automatically varies its air pressure throughout the night in response to a person’s needs, making treatment more comfortable.
Bilevel therapy is typically used when someone needs a higher pressure for effective treatment.
A mandibular repositioning device (MRD) is a custom-fitted mouthpiece that holds your jaw in a forward position while you sleep to expand the space behind your tongue. This helps keep your upper airway open, preventing apneas and snoring. They’re proven effective for people with mild and moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) but might also be prescribed to patients with severe OSA who cannot tolerate CPAP.
There are several surgical procedures that can improve the exact area of obstruction in patients’ upper respiratory tracts.
In some patients with milder forms of sleep apnea, losing weight can help reduce apneas and alleviate their symptoms.
When you use CPAP each night, you will feel more alert during the daytime. Your mood will improve and you will have a better memory. CPAP prevents or even reverses serious health problems linked to sleep apnea such as heart disease and stroke. Your partner may even sleep better because you will stop snoring.
CPAP comes with a machine, flexible tubing and a mask. Most machines are small – about the size of a tissue box – lightweight and relatively quiet. You can keep the CPAP machine on your nightstand or at the side of your bed. The tubing connects the CPAP machine to your mask. The tubing is long enough to allow you to move around or turn over in your bed.
The CPAP mask may cover only your nose or both your nose and mouth. Another option is to use "nasal pillows," which fit in your nostrils. No matter what type of mask you use, it is important that it fits well and is comfortable. The mask must make a seal in order to keep your airway open through the night. A good mask seal will prevent air leaks and maintain the right level of air pressure.
Dr. Thakkar will determine the amount of air pressure needed for CPAP to treat your sleep apnea. Dr. Thakkar may recommend a CPAP titration study to calibrate your air pressure setting. Most CPAP units also come with a timed pressure “ramp” setting. This starts the airflow at a very low level, so you can fall asleep comfortably. The setting then slowly raises the pressure while you sleep until it reaches the right level to treat your sleep apnea.
CPAP is a lifestyle change. It works best when used every night, for the entire time you are sleeping. You also should use CPAP when you are napping. Just one night without the treatment can have a negative impact on your blood pressure. The more you use CPAP, the better you will feel.
Most insurance companies now pay for sleep testing and for CPAP treatment.
Before choosing a sleep apnea treatment option, talk with Dr. Thakkar. The severity of your sleep apnea, your current physical condition and medical history will help determine the best plan for you. Don’t spend another night struggling, call Golden Gate Sleep Centers or use the online scheduling tool to get help.