Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a therapy that is used to treat Sleep Apnoea.
Sleep Apnoea is a respiratory sleep disorder, not a disease and is believed to affect at least 100,000 people in Ireland. It is estimated that 90% of people affected are undiagnosed and that around 60% of people over 65 years of age have some form of Sleep Apnoea.
A sleep Apnoea prevents you from breathing normally in your sleep because the soft tissue in your throat relaxes and closes the airway that moves air through your nose and into your mouth. This closure is what stops you from breathing. Every time your breathing is paused by the Sleep Apnoea, your brain wakes up and breaks your sleeping pattern.
Diagnosis of a Sleep Apnoea can only be determined by a professional but there are many tell take signs such as lethargy, headaches and excessive and loud snoring that indicate the possibility of a sleep Apnoea. Please check out our learning centre to find out more about these signs and risk factors.
The treatment used for Sleep Apnoea is a CPAP machine which delivers pressurised air through a hose and mask. This pressurised air opens your airways and allows you to breathe and sleep normally. The machines are usually small compact boxes that have fans inside them. The fan pulls in the air and then pressurises is according to your prescription.
The fan is extremely quiet and the majority of them will run at less than 30 decibels, which when put in context is as loud as a quiet rural area and only slightly louder than a whisper or leaves rustling The CPAP machine will also have a filter that catches impurities like dust or smoke, which is ideal for those with sensitive noses. The CPAP machines are also available with a humidifier that will heat the air and add moisture, to stop your mouth from drying up.
There are 3 different styles of masks available; A full face masks that will cover your nose and mouth, a nasal mask that will only cover your nose, or a nasal pillows mask that sits at the base of your nose, creating a seal. Choosing the right mask is vital for the success and perseverance of the therapy.
Perseverance is the key and most people get used to wearing the mask and it may take a couple of attempts to get the right mask and configuration. Nightly use of CPAP therapy reduces blood pressure and the risk of stroke by 40% and lowers the risk of cardiac (heart) complications by 20%. It literally gives a new lease of life in many cases with extra energy during the day and restful sleep at night.
If you feel you have Sleep Apnoea, you should contact a medical professional who can be prescribe a CPAP treatment for you after you complete a sleep study. If you have been diagnosed with a Sleep Apnoea, please contact is on 1890 989 353 and we can fill your prescription and help with choosing the right mask.