03/02/2023

CPAP Therapy: How It Works, Benefits and Potential Drawbacks

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening disorder whereby breathing stops and resumes throughout the night. It interferes with your sleep quality and causes you to be excessively sleepy during the day. Many patients with sleep apnea benefit from a continuous positive airways pressure machine, the most commonly prescribed device for treating sleep apnea disorders. A Rockville CPAP machine sends a steady or constant flow of pressurized air into your nose and mouth, keeping your airways open and helping you breathe normally.

How does a CPAP machine work?

The CPAPs machine compressor generates a steady stream of pressurized air that travels into a flexible tube through a filter. The tube delivers purified air into a mask sealed around your nose, mouth, or both. The airstream from the CPAP machine keeps your airways open by pushing against any blockages; this allows your lungs to receive enough oxygen. The continuous oxygen flows into your airway ensures that your breathing does not stop. As such, you do not wake up multiple times at night to resume your breathing.

Types of masks

There are different mask styles for CPAP machines. The one, your specialist, recommends depends on your breathing habits, the kind of sleep apnea disorder you have, and how comfortable you are wearing the mask. Below are the different types of CPAP masks.

  • Nasal mask. It covers your entire nose area. A nasal mask is a good option for people that tend to move around in their sleep. This mask can also deliver high-pressure airstream.
  • Nasal pillow mask. This mask has a cushion that caps over your nostril area and pongs that fit into your nostrils. It allows you to wear your glasses and is also an excellent option if you have facial hair that prevents a larger mask from fitting snuggly.
  • Full mask. This is a triangular-shaped mask that covers your mouth and nose. It is a good option if you have a blockage in your nose. Your doctor may also prescribe this mask if you breathe through your mouth when you sleep.

The benefits and drawbacks of using a CPAP machine

Using a CPAP machine has benefits and disadvantages, as with many treatments. Below are some of the known pros and cons of CPAP therapy.

Benefits

A CPAP machine delivers a steady supply of oxygen to your body as you sleep, preventing brief breathing interruptions that are the hallmark of sleep apnea. You tend to experience more benefits with the long-term use of CPAP. Below are other benefits of using a CPAP machine.

  • Reduces daytime fatigue and sleepiness
  •  Lowers your risk of cardiovascular events like stroke and heart attack
  • Improves your sleep quality. You can reach the deep, restful sleep phases since you experience no interrupted breathing.

The treatment may also lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

Drawbacks

Although a CPAP machine prevents breathing interruptions when you sleep, it has some downsides. Some people stop using the device due to the following side effects.

  • Discomfort. The device can be uncomfortable to wear during the first days.
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dry mouth
  • Skin irritation where the mask touches the face
  • A feeling of claustrophobia

If you have sleep apnea, consult your doctor at Sleep Services of Maryland LLC to know if CPAP therapy is the right treatment.