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A doctor and a nurse speak with a patient as she prepares for her sleep study.

CPAP Therapy

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy

CPAP is a treatment for sleep apnea that has great success and medical benefits. CPAP splints open the airway with fresh, filtered air during sleep. There are several types, styles and sizes available. Your doctor and a healthcare professional can help you find the best choice for you. Some of the types of masks available are nasal prong, nasal masks and full face masks. It is important to find the most comfortable mask and the one that effectively delivers your prescribed CPAP therapy.

Tips for successful use of CPAP:

  • Start using your CPAP for short periods during the day
  • Use your CPAP every night and during any naps
  • Utilize the “ramp” button to increase your pressure gradually
  • Use a humidifier to reduce dryness to your airway
  • Try a saline nasal spray to relieve mild nasal congestion
  • For severe nasal/sinus congestion call your doctor
  • Learn how to adjust your mask properly from your supplier
  • Clean your mask, headgear and tubing weekly
  • Replace your mask, hose, headgear and filters as directed
  • Discuss CPAP problems with your doctor and supplier

Keys to making positive pressure therapy a positive experience:

  • Be proactive in your health. This requires a long-term commitment on your part. Use your CPAP nightly and with naps
  • Call your doctor or equipment company if you have issues with your CPAP
  • Remember we can help St. Luke’s Center of Sleep Medicine has support and classes available to you call 832-355-3348
  • Use humidification, ramp settings, congestion relieve and other adjuncts available to increase your comfort
  • Schedule weekly cleaning of the mask, headgear and hose and replace your filters as needed

PAP Therapy

Positive airway therapy is a term for the other types of therapy similar to CPAP currently used in special circumstances. Bi-level therapy is a dual pressure therapy in which the pressure decreases at exhalation. Auto PAP is a machine that adjusts the pressure according to the respiratory needs of the person. There are other PAP machines that adjust to a person’s breathing pattern to help regulate his or her breathing. In addition, most machines have comfort buttons to relieve your breathing as you exhale. Discuss these options with your physician to find the right combination for you.

CPAP Masks

CPAP masks are constantly evolving and improving. Mask styles include the standard nasal, oral, nasal-oral, full face, and total masks. Various companies have designed masks to the vast size, shape and special needs of the sleep apnea patient. This has helped improve the comfort of the CPAP user. Discuss what options may be available to you with your doctor and CPAP equipment company.

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