When a sleep apnea diagnosis is given, chances are the patient will be advised to begin using a CPAP machine every night while sleeping. CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is a commonly prescribed treatment for the episodes of interrupted breathing present in sleep apnea. The CPAP machine is a medical device that runs on electricity. It is placed next to the bed on a nightstand or table. There are three parts to a CPAP machine: a pump housed in a box about the size of a clock-radio; a long section of plastic hose or tubing; and a face mask designed to strap onto the patient’s head, covering his nose and mouth.
The CPAP machine works by taking in air and pressurizing it. The pressurized-air then blows through a tube and mask into the patient’s throat. The pressure of the air keeps the patient’s throat open while he is sleeping. CPAP can be successful in treating sleep apnea when used correctly; however, there are many obstacles that lead to non-compliance among users and challenge the level of success. Continue reading