What is CPAP?
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is the same principle as inflating a balloon. The air causes the balloon to expand. If you had a mask with a hose attached to a device that gently blew air, then it would gently open your breathing passages so you could breathe.
Positive Effects of CPAP therapy
- Improves daytime alertness and attention.
- Reduces motor vehicle crashes and saves lives.
- Reduces blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms and risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Improves the symptoms of congestive heart failure.
- Decreases blood sugar levels in diabetics. The time of conversion from pre-diabetes to diabetes may be prolonged.
- Appears to preserve kidney function if you have early kidney disease. CPAP improves daytime function in dialysis patients.
Dental devices are custom designed to position the lower jaw forward and thus provide more breathing room. These devices, sometimes called “mandibular advancement splints” are generally used for mild to moderate sleep. In certain circumstances, a variety of surgical interventions may be considered which require further discussion with your physician.
Commercial drivers, or others in safety sensitive positions, may be required to use PAP therapy to continue in their occupations. If you are a commercial driver, inform your physician for further education and instruction.