Sleep Apnoea Therapy
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
People who have Sleep Apnoea have problems with keeping the airway open for normal breathing as they sleep. Most commonly, the soft tissue in the throat and oral cavity (the tonsils or tongue, for instance) relaxes and/or collapses, closing off the space needed for air to move through the nose and into the lungs. This leads to pauses in breathing that can happen consistently enough, and long enough, to deprive the bloodstream of the oxygen it needs to deliver to all the organs.
The brain senses this drop in blood oxygen and forces an awakening. However, some people can experience more than 100 of these pauses and awakenings per hour for most of the night!
If this interrupted pattern of breathing is left untreated, it can create long-term health problems for the sufferer.
CPAP was created to help keep these pauses from happening. The machine, by way of the tubing and mask, delivers a stream of pressurized air as a kind of "pneumatic splint" to help prevent the collapses that are characteristic of obstructive sleep apnoea. By helping to keep the airway firm and open, the pressurized air provides the support necessary for the user to breathe freely and without obstructions.
Some people, when they start CPAP therapy, discover almost right away the relief of sleeping all night long without waking up once. Others may take their time to adjust, which is more typical.
One thing remains true for both types of users: the more they use it, the easier CPAP becomes to use, and over time, they find it a welcome luxury to use their CPAP machine, as it returns to them the good nights of sleep they had been missing out on for years.