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Treatment For Sleep Apnoea

Once all your investigations are complete the healthcare professional looking after you will decide what is the best treatment for you.  There are a number of treatment options ranging from simple diet and exercise, a device to put into your mouth when you sleep called a Mandibular Advancement Device and a CPAP machine.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

CPAP (Pronounced “see pap”) is now a well known treatment for Sleep Apnoea and there are a number of machines available to try.

CPAP works by blowing air at pressure into the back of the throat to keep the airway open during sleep. It prevents the airway from collapsing, allowing you to sleep better and helping to maintain correct oxygen levels while you sleep. This is achieved by wearing a tight fitting mask, nasal plugs or hood when you go to sleep.

There are many different mask systems and sizes. You will be fitted with a suitable mask system or nasal plugs and given information on how to clean and care for this equipment.

The correct pressure for your machine will need to be assessed.  This can be done in a number of ways.

  • Auto-setting device.  You will be given this device to take away for a period of time, during which the machine will automatically set the correct pressure for you.
  • A Nap Study.  This will take around 2 to 3 hours and will take place during the day.  You will take a "nap" during which time the pressure on the machine will be set by the healthcare professional looking after you.
  • During an overnight sleep study.  Some hospitals will perform an overnight sleep study for half the night, then for the second half of the night the pressure for your CPAP will be set.

People often find that it takes several weeks to become accustomed to using the CPAP machine and wearing the mask. It is normal to have some difficulty adjusting to the idea of having to use this machine. However, the healthcare professional looking after you will be experienced in all the problems that can occur when you first start this treatment and will be happy to help find the best alternatives for you to get a good night's sleep.

You should find that if you were sleepy before, it soon makes you feel much more awake during the day. You should sleep better when your sleep is no longer disturbed by obstructions to your breathing. Your bed partner should also have a better night’s sleep as your snoring will also be much reduced.




Patient testimonials:

'The couple of years up to the time I was diagnosed with OSA, I had become increasingly tired, and incapable of getting through a working day without a sleep.

On diagnosis and treatment with CPAP, I returned almost immediately [certainly within a month] to levels of stamina I had not experienced for several years and generally felt very much better and more alert.

Using CPAP does have some drawbacks, it can be a bit awkward to get used to [probably took me about two weeks] it is a bit cumbersome and is another bag to carry when going on holiday, but the benefits are life changing both to the OSA sufferer and their partner.

My wife said that after years of me snoring and throwing myself around the bed, it was like sleeping with a corpse [I think she means in terms of silence and being still in bed] I also found that the need to use the toilet several times during the night completely disappeared.

The benefits outweigh the disadvantages by a factor of hundreds in my view’

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