Worldwide, CPAP has become the leading therapy which brings relief to countless people suffering from sleep apnea. Restless, sleepless nights are proven to have detrimental consequences on a person’s wellbeing and overall health. Sleep apnea causes restless and interrupted sleep, which may also lead to repeated severe headaches, depression or irritability. The collateral effects of sleep apnea, such as chronic fatigue, can invariably result in reduced performance at work. Over time these conditions can seriously erode the quality of life, for sleep apnea sufferers and their families.

The most common of sleep apnea is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sufferers of OSA are divided into three categories that range from mild to severe. The difference between these is determined by how many hourly breathing obstructions and/or awakenings are experienced.

From five to fifteen obstructions an hour, it is classified as mild OBS. Anywhere from 15 to 30 episodes an hour are considered moderate and sufferers that experience 30 or more episodes an hour are considered to suffer from severe OBS. The third type of sleep apnea is known as, Central Sleep Apnea and is most commonly brought on by other pre-existing medical conditions. The last category of sleep apnea regards people suffering from a combination of both OBS and CSA.

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, which explains the principle behind CPAP machines and how they work. The function of a CPAP device is to provide a constant, steady flow of air through the use a hose and mask or a nosepiece. The CPAP device delivers the air with enough pressure to keep open the airways. The majority of people afflicted by sleep apnea have found immediate symptom relief, increased energy and mental sharpness.

CPAP devices are designed to guarantee that the lungs get the oxygen they need and breathing doesn’t pause, guaranteeing a good night’s sleep, with no repeated wake ups, which is what happens when breathing stops. CPAP Machines all use similar components, however the type of mask used will depend on the breathing and sleeping habits of a sleep apnea sufferer.

There are three different types of masks. The first and least cumbersome design is the pillow nose mask. These are basically plastic inserts, that look like earphones and they fit directly into the nostrils. This model is not suitable for all sleep apnea sufferers and are not the best choice for a sleeper that tends to move a lot. For restless sleepers that move a lot, a nasal mask which covers the entire nose area of the face is recommended. For those who breathe predominantly through their mouths, a full mask is best suited.

Sleep Apnea can play havoc on the quality of one’s life and their partner’s life. The collateral effects of continued disruptive sleep patterns can also lead to other medical complications. Nowadays, thanks to the use of CPAP machines, living with sleep apnea no longer needs to be a challenge or pose risks to our health and wellbeing. These CPAP devices have helped countless sleep apnea sufferers, worldwide, improve their quality of life. We can finally say goodbye to sleepless nights.

Published by Maddalena Di Gregorio

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in” Robert L. Stevenson

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