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Published On: Wed, Sep 6th, 2017

The Role of Machines in The Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Some people experience breathing interruption during sleep, and this can happen multiple times over one night. The experience is quite alarming because it occurs in sleep when the person does not have any control over the situation. It can become severe and even turn fatal because the oxygen supply to the brain and other parts of the body cuts off briefly when the attack happens. The disorder known as sleep apnoea affects one in fifteen persons who suffer from a condition that blocks the airway passage because of collapsing soft tissue at the rear of the throat. A non-surgical method of treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) which is more common than central sleep apnoea is available. It uses a machine that supplies oxygen to take care of the extreme condition and helps to maintain breathing.  

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the name of the treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea. It consists of using a small machine that continuously supplies compressed air at a steady pressure through the airway of the patient so that the patient can breathe freely during sleep.  The device called CPAP machine consists of a compressor, hose, and mask that covers the nose and mouth or another kind of mask that covers the nose only. There is a third type available with prongs that fit into your nose. CPAP machines are easy to use and highly effective for treatment of OSA.

CPAP machine features

The machine is a small and compact unit of a motor and air compressor that sucks air from the environment and pressurizes it through compression for supplying air to the airway to keep the windpipe open when the person is sleeping. Some recent models of the machines are available with water pumps that help to maintain the air moist as the patients breathe it. This arrangement is suitable in places where the moisture content in the environmental air is quite small. The air produced in the compressor finds its way out through the hoses attached to it (standard length of 6 feet) to reach the mask for onward transmission to the patient. Latest machines are fitted with heated hoses to prevent moisture condensation in the hoses when used in a humidity-controlled environment.

Devices with unique features

The health provider who is treating you has to recommend the type of device that would be suitable for you.  The choice is between three types of machines – CPAP, APAP, and BiPAP.

Autotitrating or adjustable airway pressure (APAP) machines adjust the pressure of supplied air by taking into consideration the breathing patterns during sleep.  Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) devices provide air at a variable pressure, which is high when you breathe in or inhale and low when you breathe out or exhale.

You must get used to using the CPAP machine that might seem a bit uncomfortable in the beginning and may even make you feel claustrophobic.  You may feel discomfort with the chest muscle too, but with regular use, you soon get used to it.

Author Bio: Kate Williamson is a freelance writer who writes for assorted industry segments including healthcare, life sciences, insurance and automobiles. She is quite knowledgeable about various medical devices including CPAP machines. She loves to cook for her family during weekends.

 

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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