Continuous Positive Airway Pressure for Snoring (CPAP)


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Continuous positive airway pressure involves the use of a face mask during sleep which gently regulates airflow from a machine into your upper airway during sleep. This form of treatment is used for mild to heavy snorers, and is regarded as the most efficient from of nonsurgical treatment in the attempt to alleviate snoring habits.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machines

A CPAP machine does not in fact breath for you, but as you inhale creates the correct amount of pressure needed to keep the tissue in your throat from vibrating. The pressure at which air is delivered into your airway is diagnosed by a doctor before hand so as to make the device as comfortable as possible. CPAP machines reduce snoring a considerable deal, due to the nature of the mask, and reinforcement of regular inhalation and exhalation, but it does have its downfalls. Obviously, the reliance on the machine is a factor in your treatment, not only is the device rather large but the pump also creates noise during the night, which may or may not be as loud as your snoring.

Consultation for a CPAP

A consultation and prescription is need from your doctor before you can use a CPAP machine, and is generally advised only to be used by those who have tried alternatives to stop their snoring.

Side-Effects of Using a CPAP Machine

Many find the CPAP cumbersome and bulky, and it is difficult to factor in if you are travelling around, although the results of the machine are instantaneous and often radical. Aerophagia, or the inhalation of too much air is also another common side effect of using a CPAP machine, which can result in flatulence and belching and can be quite embarrassing for the everyday user. Compliance with use is also an element which makes the CPAP less desirable, many users find the machine noisy and bulky around their face, making sleep difficult, and while telling their doctors they utilise the machine, in fact don’t on a regular basis. 

The decision to use a CPAP machine as treatment for snoring is considered only in severe cases, and the doctor will also assess lifestyle factors in advising you. These will included an examination of medical history and such choices as smoking and alcohol consumption as well as the amount of exercise that you do - you may find you will be expected to cut down on or eliminate these habits before you can be prescribed a CPAP machine. A otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) will then carry out an examination of your airways, after which a ‘sleep study’ will be carried out to decide on the pressure at which to regulate the CPAP machine.


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