CPAP—you've heard of it, and now that you have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), this bedside machine is going to be your nightly companion. At Pacific Sleep Program in both Portland and Astoria, our team of 4 sleep physicians and their support staff answer many questions regarding the hows and whys of CPAP and how it can reduce the harmful health effects of OSA. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers regarding this helpful sleep therapy.
FAQs regarding CPAP
1. Just what is CPAP?
CPAP means Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Prescribed by a board-certified sleep physician Pacific Sleep Program, a CPAP machine counters the harmful health effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. A CPAP machine delivers a steady stream of air through a mask into the wearer's airway, keeping it open and the patient both breathing and sleeping well.
2. What does a CPAP machine look like?
There are many CPAP styles, including variations on the machine itself and on the facial mask. Your sleep physician in either Portland or Astoria will help you determine what CPAP machine is right for your sleep disorder.
3. How do I know I need CPAP?
Only a sleep physician can tell you if you have a sleep disorder such as OSA and if CPAP is the right therapy. At Pacific Sleep Program, our professional team has the experience, expertise, and sleep study capabilities to determine why you don't sleep well, snore loudly, wake up multiple times a night, and feel fatigued during the day. Our state-of-the-art facility provides in-house and at-home sleep studies which yield data helpful in pinpointing your particular issue
4. Is CPAP hard to get used to?
Any CPAP machine requires a period of adjustment. Some people feel a bit claustrophobic because of the mask, or others may need time to find their best sleep positions as they use their machine on a nightly basis. Your doctor will work with you to ensure maximum benefit from your CPAP machine.
5. Will CPAP stop my problem snoring?
The American Sleep Apnea Association says that about 90 million American adults snore consistently. Fifty percent of these individuals actually have Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Fortunately, therapy with a CPAP machine reduces snoring considerably because the airway literally is propped open by the steady flow of air. Thus, the vibration of the uvula and other soft tissues at the back of the throat appreciably ceases, and so does noisy snoring.
6. How often should I use my machine?
To maximize its benefits, use your CPAP machine every time you sleep, whether if that is at night or if you take any naps. Consistent use helps sleep therapy patients adjust to their machines more quickly.
Find out more
CPAP machines have revolutionized sleep therapy over the past three decades. To learn more about OSA and other sleep issues, or if you have a question about your current CPAP apparatus, please call the Pacific Sleep Program. We have two offices: one in Portland (503) 228-4414 and one in Astoria (503) 325-3126.