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CPAP Facts

By DuPage Medical Group Sleep Medicine

What is Sleep Apnea?

Did you know that sleep apnea affects more than 18 million Americans?  It is just as common as type 2 diabetes.  Apnea is the medical term for “to stop breathing.”  Sleep apnea is an involuntary stopping of breathing while you are asleep.  Untreated sleep apnea can cause you to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night.  You are unlikely to be aware that this happening but may experience headaches, tiredness during the day and dry mouth when waking up.  In addition, untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of stroke, heart arrhythmias and heart attack.

What is CPAP?

A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is a device used to treat people who are suffering from sleep apnea.  There are a few ways to treat sleep apnea, but the most successful and widely used is a CPAP machine.

How Does a CPAP work?

A CPAP machine is a small air compressor that is worn during sleep; either through a face or nasal mask.  This machine provides a continuous flow of air pressure that supports the airway open to prevent you from having apneas during sleep.  Talk to your doctor today if you think you have sleep apnea and might benefit from a CPAP machine.

Who should get a CPAP?

People who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea should consider the use of a CPAP machine.

Why get a CPAP?

Most people who use a CPAP machine report a rapid relief in symptoms, however it can take 2 –12 weeks for you to adjust to the machine.  Once adjusted to the CPAP machine, you should notice that your symptoms of sleep apnea are disappearing, that you have more energy, and that you have increased mental sharpness during the day.  Also, with regular use of a CPAP machine risks of cardiovascular complications can be decreased.

How do I get a CPAP?

A CPAP can only be obtained through by a physician’s order.  Once you have received an order for one you can purchase through Premier Medical Equipment.  Many insurance companies will cover the cost of a CPAP machine, so be sure to contact your insurance provider to find out if CPAP is covered under your benefit plan. 

What are other types of breathing machines?

There are 3 types of PAP machines: CPAP, BiPAP, and VPAP. Your doctor will help determine which one will be the most effective in treating your sleep apnea.


Topics and Subtopics: Respiratory Problems & Sleep

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