THE FOREFRONT OF SLEEP APNEA THERAPY
Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP) is the most common and effective treatment available for patients with Sleep Apnea. It works by using a device to blow a continuous stream of air into the airway via a mask worn whilst sleeping. This forms a an “air splint” that helps support the tissues of the throat from collapsing. The air is just strong enough to do the job it needs to do without being uncomfortable and without disturbing the your sleep (or the sleep of your partner!).
CPAP devices have advanced over the years and are now small and very quiet and much more comfortable to wear.
At Mid North Coast Life Solutions we offer the most up-to-date equipment available and personalised support to help maximise the benefits of treatment.
CPAP equipment can be divided into the following groups of componants that together facilitate CPAP Therapy.
1. CPAP FLOW GENERATOR MACHINE
Flow generators are the brains of your sleep apnea therapy and is the device that produces and regulates the air pressure during therapy.
There are 3 diffent categories of flow generators, these are Fixed Pressure (CPAP), Automatic Pressure (APAP) and Bi-Level (BPAP or VPAP). Each of which have a different delivery method of therapy and will be determined by to refering specialist.
Fixed Pressure machine's are set to a specific therapy pressure. This is based on the script from your sleep study.
Automatic machines are set with a min. and max. pressure based on the script from your sleep study. The machine will measure each breath you take and based on the shape of that breath, and will adjust your treatment as needed.
Bi-Level machines produce 2 levels of pressure to treat sleep apnoea. An inspiratory pressure (IPAP) and an expiratory pressure (EPAP). This simply means that a pressure delivered upon inhalation is higher than the pressure upon breathing out and is beneficial to person that has trouble exhaling against standard CPAP pressure.
Humidifiers add moisture and warmth to the air used in CPAP therapy. All of the major brands of flow generators have compatable humidifer units that are self contained within the unit or a seperate addition. Most current models also have a heated hose or tube which connects the humidifer to the mask.
SLEEP APNEA TREATMENT
3. CPAP MASK
CPAP therapy is delivered via a CPAP Mask. The 3 main types of CPAP masks are Nasal Pillows , Nasal Cushions and Full Face. Each deliver the prescribed therapy in a slightly different way and a specific type may be prescribed by your specialist.
Finding the right mask for you is a critical part of starting your CPAP Therapy. If your are not comfortable sleeping in your mask you will more than likely be non compliant and inconsistant with your therapy, in turn this may lead to you not adequaitely treating your sleep apnoea.
Nasal Pillows have small silicon pillows that sit directly into the nares. These masks have minimalised straping around the head and offer the lowest impact to face. (Nasal Pillows are not suitable for people on prescribed pressures above 14cm H20)
Nasal Cushion masks have a silicon, cup like cushion that cover the nose. These masks offer greater stablility and support and are less likely to move during the night.
Full Face masks have a silicon cup that covers the nose and mouth. These masks are ideal for people who find it difficult to only breath through their nose.
While there is no common cure for Sleep Apnea, there are several lifestyle modifications that may reduce the symptoms or even the severity of Sleep Apnea. It is important to follow the recommendations of your GP or Sleep Physician specialist.
The following are some lifestyle modifications that can help reduce sleep apnea:
Losing weight can reduce the severity of Sleep Apnea. Often people with untreated Sleep Apnea feel down and find it difficult to motivate themselves to lose weight. Additionally, eating high caloric foods tends to be a coping mechanism that the body employs to try and get more energy which, in turn adds to weight problems.
The good news is that many people have found that treating their Sleep Apnea has removed their tiredness and given them new motivation and energy which they use to exercise more and eat healthier foods. This has had a positive effect on their weight issues.
REDUCE ALCOHOL AND OTHER SUBSTANCES
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sedatives before bed. These cause the muscles to relax, which in turn narrows or closes the airways and can make Sleep Apnea worse.
Important: Please discuss any concerns you may have regarding your current medication and the effect it may be having on your sleep with your doctor before making any changes.
ROUTINE BED HABITS
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, a routine helps you sleep better. Also, avoid using the bedroom for anything other than sleeping and sex. Stimulants, such as watching TV and using other technology such as a tablet device can also cause disruptions to sleep.
Sleep Apnea can occur more in certain people when they sleep on their backs. This is called Positional Sleep Apnea. Being on your back means that it is easier for the tissues in your throat to block your airway and cause an Apnea. These Apnea episodes may be reduced by sleeping on your side. If you sleep on your back Healthy Sleep Solutions is the exclusive Australian distributor for the Zzoma, a TGA approved positional device that stops you from rolling onto your back.
Unit 5, 10 Bellbowrie Street
Bellbowrie Park Business Centre
Port Macquarie NSW 2444
Tel: 02 6583 6728
Fax: 02 6526 2199
Mon - Thurs: 9am - 4pm
Friday - 9am - 12 noon
Saturday: By Appointment