CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. These means there is a constant airway pressure applied to the airway when connected to the CPAP machine.
CPAP is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
CPAP requires several things. First is the CPAP machine. This is essentially a fan which is controlled by a computer. The fan creates airflow in a semi-closed system, and this airflow creates a certain level of pressure. The computer is able to measure the pressure and change the airflow in order to modify the desired pressure.
The CPAP machine needs to be connected to the patient. This requires some tubing which connects the machine to the interface. The interface is attached to the patient. The most common interface is a nasal mask, but there are other options including a full face mask (which covers the nose and mouth), nasal pillows (which plug into the inside of the nose), and newer variations called hybrid masks (which connect to the nose and mouth.
There are many benefits of using CPAP to treat sleep apnea. However, there are often small problems at the beginning of therapy that need to be worked out.
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