Learn More about Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), is one of the most common treatments for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you have a severe sleep disorder, or if oral splints are not providing the relief you need, you may be a good candidate for CPAP. A CPAP machine delivers a steady stream of air through a mask placed over your mouth and nose. The air lifts your soft oral tissues preventing your throat from closing as you sleep. If you are preparing to receive a CPAP device, and have questions, take a look at some of the most common questions and answers about this established and effective treatment.
Common Questions about CPAP
Q: How often should I use my CPAP device?
A: You should use your CPAP machine and mask every time you sleep, even when you are just napping. If you are traveling, make sure that you bring the equipment with you. Although it may seem like a hassle, when you use your CPAP properly, it can tremendously benefit your overall wellbeing, and help make your life more stress-free.
Q: How should I care for my CPAP machine and mask?
A: CPAP devices are designed to be user-friendly and easy to care for. To avoid throat irritation or infection, you should keep your device clean. Wash the mask and tubing every day with mild dish detergent or baby shampoo. Be sure to wash out all soap, and let the devices air dry. The machines come with removable filters. With some machines, you will need to change the filters every 30 days, or when they appear discolored. On other devices, you should clean the filters regularly, and should only need to replace them on an annual basis. Dr. Stewart can provide more information about how to care for your particular device.
Q: Now that I’m on CPAP, why am I suddenly having vivid dreams?
A: For many, increased dreaming is a common effect of using CPAP. Because OSA constantly interrupts your sleep, you may never have reached the deeper levels necessary for dreaming. Immediately after you begin using CPAP, you may spend much more time in dream sleep. As you adjust to your new sleep cycle, the dreams will probably taper off. However, you may find that you still dream more than you did before you sought treatment for your sleep apnea.