Common Sleep Apnea
CPAP - Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
People with breathing problems such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, lung cancer or
emphysema patients require oxygen therapy in order to be able to breathe without
problems. A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device helps maintaining the
upper airways open, and thus patients get enough oxygen into their lungs.
The CPAP treatment is performed with the help of a special device that blows the
air into a flexible tubing and then into the mask which is positioned onto the
face of the patient. There is a huge variety of sleep therapy devices or CPAPs
available, and here at SleepRestfully.com you are welcome to browse
through the available items and select the one that best suits your needs.
Many CPAP devices have added features such as a heated humidifier, for greater
therapy compliance. Also, choosing a perfectly fitting mask is of primordial
importance. The mask must offer the best seal to avoid mask leaks, but it also
needs to be lightweight so that therapy during sleep is comfortable.
CPAP machines deliver a Continuous Flow of therapeutic grade oxygen for the
patient to breathe in. The airways are thus kept open, under the pressure
delivered by the machine. The sleep physician is the one who will determine the
correct titration pressure required for the most efficient therapy. The sleep
technician is the one that conducts a study, called “polysomnography” in
a special sleep laboratory. The experts will record important data pertaining to
the breathing rate of the patient, snoring, apnea episodes and so on. After
analyzing the data, the physician is able to prescribe the best course of
treatment for the patient.
APAP, AutoPAP, AutoCPAP- Automatic Positive Airway
The Automatic Positive Airway Pressure device will automatically titrate or tune
the exact amount of oxygen pressure required by the patient, based on his
specific breathing rate. These devices deliver oxygen on a “breath-by-breath”
basis, making thus therapy more custom tailored to the patient’s individual
Bi-Level Oxygen Pressure Device
The VPAP or BiPAP (Bilevel/ Variable Positive Airway Pressure) device delivers
two different levels of pressure: one at inhaling (a higher pressure) and one
pressure at exhaling (a lower pressure).
Many patients noncompliant with traditional CPAP therapy will be recommended to
start Bi-level or VPAP therapy. The needs of each patient are different. Some do
not cope well with exhaling against a high pressure delivered by the CPAP
machine which offers only Continuous Flow oxygen. The Bi-Level device helps
these patients become more compliant with therapy, having a higher oxygen
pressure at inhaling, and a lower pressure at exhaling.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central Sleep Apnea is different from Obstructive Sleep Apnea in that the
patient cannot breathe not because the upper airways are obstructed but because
during sleep the respiratory control centers of the brain are imbalanced. The
brain does not send proper signals to the breathing muscles and thus the patient
is not able to maintain a normal, even respiratory rate. Patients generally stop
breathing, and then will start again.
In order to control Central Sleep Apneas such as Cheyne –Stokes Respiration,
physicians prescribe the use of a CPAP or BiPAP device.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Hypopnea
OSA - or Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition in which the patient’s upper
airways are obstructed during sleep. This results in heavy snoring most of the
times, and patients also experience “apneas” or cessation of breath episodes. An
OSA patient can stop breathing even up to 15 or 20 seconds per episode, and
these episodes can repeat themselves several times per hour/night.
Increased body weight, smoking, and age are all factors that can indicate an
increased risk for developing OSA. With proper medical investigation, patients
can go on CPAP or BiPAP therapy which helps them sleep all through the night,
getting enough oxygen and hindering apneas from happening.
Hypopnea on the other hand is a condition where the patient has an extremely
shallow breath, and/or very low breathing rates. Hypopnea is classified as a
sleep disorder and it can be a moderate or a severe one. Even though the patient
might sleep all through the night, he will wake up extremely fatigued, feeling
that sleep was not refreshing. Patients with hypopnea are also normally required
to start CPAP or BiPAP therapy in order to get refreshing sleep and enough
oxygen into their lungs.