Sleeping with a hose attached to you face is not sexy. However, you will awake more refreshed after a night of sleep. The cause of obstructive sleep apnea is the tissue in the throat blocking the movement of air in and out. The cpap is like a vacuum cleaning in reverse (original design) pushing the tissue out of the way to air into the lungs. Continuous Positive Air Pressure is what it stands for. It is the first “go to” solution for severe obstructive sleep apnea as stated by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine because it is the most effective.
Standard CPAP has the pressure set by your sleep physician. It remains at that pressure whether the air is moving in or out. So you are exhaling into the wind which feels strange.
BiPAP is an upgrade which has one pressure to push the air in and another lesser pressure to allow the air to blow out easier.
Auto PAP is the smartest by sensing the need to get the air in, then ramping up to a higher pressure. As you go to release the air out of the lungs, the machine lowers the pressure again. It has a built in PSG to analyze your sleep. It is not covered by insurance.
ASV machines are the most advanced for complex sleep apnea. It is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea which is when the brain stops sending the signal to breathe. It is strange, but a CPAP can worsen central sleep apnea. ASV’s cost about $7,000.
However, the statistics show that after two years of use, 50% of people have quit using it. Some of the reasons can be: the mask leaks, less freedom of movement, dries out the nose and mouth, creates sinus infections, don’t like the lines on the face left by the mask and straps, and it makes them feel claustrophobic.
The best outcomes for treatment is the combination therapy of the CPAP and a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) made by a dentist with advanced training in sleep medicine. It is recommended to use a dentist who is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, a branch of the sleep physician’s organization, American Academy of Sleep Medicine.