Nasal CPAP “blows the airway open” to prevent airway collapse during sleep. The pressure setting must be determined for each patient during sleep, so you should not try to adjust the pressure setting on your own.
Because it works by increasing airway pressure, significant air leaks and air escape at the mouth can make them ineffective. Make sure your mask interface is properly placed before sleep, but excessive tightening may cause discomfort. Also, if a chinstrap is needed, be sure to wear it routinely!
No. They control sleep apnea, as long as they are used consistently: thus protecting patients from sleep apnea complications and symptoms
NO. One common and potentially serious mistake would be to wake up toward the end of the night, remove your mask and allow yourself to fall asleep. Most of our REM sleep (the stage when most patients’ sleep apnea reaches its greatest severity) occurs during the final hours of sleep, you will have removed it before you needed it more than ever.
Yes. Traveling with your nasal CPAP unit is quite easy.
YES. Here are some examples:
History of spontaneous pneumothorax, or large bullae (“blebs”, similar to bubbles on a tire) that could rupture and cause lung collapse.
Individuals on high doses of steroids (ex. prednisone, Decadron®).
Severe inner ear problems.
Individuals with increase pressure in the brain (ex. hydrocephalus, pseudo tumor).
Clean your equipment regularly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Broken, defective or worn equipment must be repaired or replaced immediately. Be sure to have your machine checked routinely and serviced once a year, even if it seems to be functioning well.
Much better: from the standpoint of both long-term effectiveness and safety. No other treatment, except a tracheostomy, is as effective at eliminating airway obstruction in sleep. The advantage of nasal CPAP is that it typically keeps the entire airway open, irrespective of where the collapse might have occurred. While children with sleep apnea due to large tonsils and adenoids often seem to respond to surgical treatment, results in adults have been disappointing. Nasal CPAP is safe and immediately effective, without operative risks or the need to wait for surgical healing before effectiveness can be determined.
Yes. Unless other factors (such as sedating drugs or new illnesses) make your sleep apnea worse. Also, sleep apnea can worsen with both age and weight gain. With any change in your medical condition, you should consult your sleep specialist.
Literature concerning CPAP use that is distributed by MRC Healthcare, Inc. is offered for information purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.