Today, there are a variety of treatment options available for patients with sleep apnea, including CPAP, which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
CPAP is the leading therapy for treating sleep apnea, and it involves patients wearing a facial or nasal mask when sleeping.
The mask is connected to an air pump that creates positive air flow in the patient’s nasal passages, keeping his or her airway open during sleep. CPAP treatment, along with sleep testing, is typically covered by insurance companies, making this therapy accessible to most patients today.
If a patient is overweight, however, and diagnosed with sleep apnea, the doctor may recommend weight loss as a first course of action, since losing weight can often improve breathing issues during sleep. But this treatment is not effective for everyone, as sleep apnea can be caused by a number of factors, including the structure of the patient’s airway itself.
CPAP therapy has been shown to provide symptom relief for the majority of patients who use it, with many people reporting feeling more awake and alert during the day, with increased energy and less mental fatigue.
An additional benefit to using CPAP therapy for sleep apnea patients is that it provides a benefit to bed partners as well as patients. According to one study, bed partners are often driven out of the bedroom because of loud, disruptive snoring. With CPAP treatment, the patient’s snoring is silenced and the partner can come back to the bedroom.
The most important factor in the successful use of CPAP therapy, however, is follow-up. Local health professionals have the technology, tools, and experience to help patients effectively use their CPAP equipment and become successful with their treatment right away, helping create a positive experience with CPAP therapy for the patient.