Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What is CPAP?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) has been the main treatment for people with sleep apnea. The CPAP machine works by using pressure to send air flowing through the nasal passages, keeping the throat from collapsing during sleep. CPAP, however, is uncomfortable, and many people do not use CPAP because its inconvenience and bulkiness.

If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can lead to many serious problems including:

High blood pressure
Sore throat
Dry mouth
Excessive daytime drowsiness
Poor concentration
Short-term memory problems
Mood swings
Cognitive deterioration

Most of us are aware that a good night's sleep is essential. REM sSleep, the time during sleep when we dream, contributes to overall health and proper body function. But during a sleep apnea event, the individual leaves REM sleep many times throughout the night to restart his or her breathing. The result is a lack of deeply restful sleep that seriously affects the body's ability to function.

There are three different types of CPAP machines:

CPAP: delivers one continuous air pressure
APAP: adjusts to your need for oxygen by starting out at low pressure, senses raising the pressure during a sleep apnea event
BiPAP: uses a higher pressure when you inhale and lower pressure when you exhale

To learn more about snoring and sleep apnea, please contact sleep apnea specialist, Dr. Ira L. Shapira, in Gurnee, Illinois today to schedule your initial consultation.

posted by Lynn at 6:56 AM