CPAP System & Sleep Apnea
Is your snoring disrupting your sleep and that of your spouse? Does your spouse report that your wake with a start and appear to stop breathing many times during the night? Your primary physician may suspect you have a condition known as sleep apnea, in which the soft palate blocks the airway (obstructive sleep apnea) or in which the brain does not receive a signal to keep breathing (central sleep apnea).
The Dangers of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea requires medical attention. The lack of proper blood oxygenation and repeated waking cause widespread systemic health problems such as:
- daytime sleepiness
- memory and concentration problems
- depression and anxiety
- dry mouth
- night sweats
The National Heart and Blood institute recommends seeing a sleep physician to confirm obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or the more dangerous central sleep apnea. Depending on how serious the problem is, he or she may recommend seeing an experienced sleep apnea dentist such as David B. Rosen of Dental Sleep Medicine of New England. A CPAP (or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine commonly helps many patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
How CPAP Works
A CPAP machine consists of a carefully fitted air mask, plastic tubing and bedside machine which pumps a steady stream of oxygenated air to the individual so that his airway stays open and unobstructed while he sleeps. The mask typically covers both nose and mouth, delivering a stream of air that is adjusted to individual need.
The pressure of the airflow moves the relaxed tissues of the soft palate out of the way so they no longer block the person's windpipe. Snoring stops, and breathing is uninterrupted, keeping the individual properly ventilated and sleeping more soundly.
A CPAP machine should be professionally calibrated for maximum benefit. In addition, the sleep apnea patient should always use the device when sleeping or even when napping during the day. Consistent use helps alleviate snoring, breathing cessation and the deleterious side affects of obstructive sleep apnea.
Do you have sleep apnea? Call Dental Sleep Medicine of New England in Lexington, MA at (781) 674-2233 to learn more about CPAP!