Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy, better known simply as CPAP therapy, is one of the most effective ways to treat obstructive sleep apnea. This therapy is delivered through a CPAP machine, which delivers air at a prescribed pressure in appropriate intervals. The CPAP mask attaches directly to the patient's face and is connected to the machine via a tube. The constant airflow delivered by the machine means that the airways are continually kept open, something which would otherwise not be possible with an obstructive sleep apnea patient.
The CPAP settings depend on the results of a sleep study. The patient's sleeping and breathing patterns are closely observed during this study so that the doctor can prescribe a CPAP machine with the right pressure setting.
The required maintenance on a CPAP machine is fairly simple. The filters will need to be changed or cleaned on a regular basis. Most CPAP machine manufacturers recommend that disposable CPAP filters are exchanged for fresh new ones at least once per month. If the machine has washable foam filters, those filters need to be cleaned as soon as any discoloration is evident. Most manufacturers say that foam filters should be rinsed lightly every week and air dried as basic maintenance, even if they haven't yet become obviously discolored. It is also best to make sure that the CPAP machine is in a clean elevated area, and that it is kept dust-free. The air intake on the CPAP machine should always be completely clear or the airflow can be reduced. Keeping the machine on a bedside table with no other obstructions nearby may help accomplish this. When the CPAP machine is treated properly, it will reward the user with greatly improved ability to sleep free from sleep apnea.
At Progressive Neurology & Sleep Medicine Associates, we accept the majority of private health insurance plans, as well as IEHP and most HMO's in our service area. Please call our office if you do not see your plan listed.
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