A CPAP machine is the old go-to answer for patients who are diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It was invented in 1981 by a doctor in Australia. These machines deliver continuous positive airway pressure, inflating the throat and keeping the airway open. Over the last 30 years there have been some refinements but the method of delivery is basically the same. CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) is highly effective in controlling obstructive sleep apnea, if it is used. That’s the problem with CPAP. Over the last 10 years many research studies have shown that CPAP compliance can be as low as 27%. CPAP can be uncomfortable and inconvenient to use and can irritate one’s sleep partner.
CPAP machine contains many parts while electricity and distilled water are required for it to operate. An “air blower”, a type of pump, is placed next to the bed. A hose with a mask is attached to the pump and the mask fits over the nose and/or mouth while you sleep. The air pressure from the blower is forced through the nasal passages. Usually the air pressure is adjusted, to prevent the throat from collapsing during sleep.
Over 70% of our patients are former CPAP users. What we hear most of all of why they dislike or even hate CPAP therapy fall into a few categories; nasal & skin irritation, the mask leaking, restrictions on sleep positions, the noise, going to the bathroom, and not conducive to spontaneous romance.