The CPAP treatment is the first line treatment for patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea. CPAP involves wearing a mask on the nose and/or mouth during sleep, which helps keep the airways open. The mask is attached to a machine that delivers a continuous stream of compressed air. The CPAP mask must be worn nightly for at least 6 hours in order to be effective.
When used properly, CPAP is a highly effective way to treat OSA. It reduces the risk of heart problems such as heart failure, decreases daytimes sleepiness, and may lower blood pressure both when in use and during waking hours.
Unfortunately, many users find the mask uncomfortable or inconvenient, and reduce use without consulting their doctor. Other patients may experience dry mouth, or complain that the noise produced by the machine actually makes sleep more difficult. In these cases, considered "CPAP failures", further surgical intervention may be recommended.
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