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CPAP Therapy – Effective Sleep Apnoea Treatment

CPAP therapy is the most common form of treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is when apnoeas (breathing pauses) and hypopnoeas (breathing restrictions) repeatedly occur when your upper airway becomes obstructed. The obstruction is caused by the relaxing of muscles and the subsequent collapse of the tissue surrounding the passageway. Generally preceded by snoring, these pauses and reductions in airflow are often followed by choking and gasping sounds as the brain reacts to the drop in oxygen and usually you are momentarily woken from your sleep.

CPAP Therapy is a clinically proven treatment

Once you have been tested, diagnosed and are receiving therapy, the quality of your sleep and the quality of your life will improve. Sleep Apnoea treatment using CPAP has helped millions of patients around the world.

If you have already received confirmation of Sleep Apnoea and are looking for therapy equipment, we can offer unrivalled and impartial advice on machines, masks and alternatives to CPAP therapy.

What is CPAP?

CPAP is the name of a therapy, and stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP is a treatment primarily use to treat the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Therapy uses a CPAP device (Sleep Apnoea machine) which supplies a regular, pressurised air supply in to a facial mask. By using a mask, the machine can provide a constant pressure into your airway to keep it open, and in doing so prevents it from becoming blocked. Watch our guidance video below where our Clinical Services Manager Jay explains all things CPAP!

There are several treatment options for Sleep Apnoea, but none are used as much as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This is because CPAP is very versatile; it can be used to treat mild cases and severe cases of Sleep Apnoea, and has relatively few contraindications (other health problems that would make it unsafe).

Today, the number of machine and mask options is higher than ever before, making it easier to find a combination that works for almost every patient.

CPAP therapy is very effective at treating Sleep Apnoea and therefore provides a significant reduction in the symptoms it causes – and it can even prevent them entirely. For those suffering from chronic symptoms, such as excessive daytime tiredness, depression and anxiety, the impact of therapy can be truly life-changing.

These are some of the benefits it can provide:

  • Reduce or prevent snoring – allowing those close to you to sleep better.
  • Prevent breathing interruptions during the night, allowing for deeper, more restorative sleep.
  • Relieve excessive daytime sleepiness caused by constant sleep interruptions.
  • Decrease or prevent high blood pressure.
  • Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

By reducing the number of breathing interruptions, you can greatly improving your quality of sleep and reduce the strain on your heart.

It is important to note that treatment does not use a ventilator. A ventilator takes over the users breathing pattern. A CPAP device simply blows air into the airway, and the user continues to breathe for themselves as normal (albeit with more resistance due to the pressure).

Man with Sleep Apnoea using a CPAP machine with humidifier

What does CPAP therapy consist of?

CPAP uses a machine and mask, connected by a tube.

A typical setup is made up of:

Additional optional parts may include:

  • Humidification to warm the air before it reaches your mask.
  • Comfort accessories such as a hose fleece cover to keep the air warm as it travels through the tube, hose lift to make moving around in your sleep easier, and a chin straps if you need extra help to breathe through your nose etc.

We are here to help

Below are links to a few of our most popular pages. If you need a CPAP device and accessories for Sleep Apnoea treatment, our comprehensive range includes all the variations you may need to consider. If you need any further help, our team of experienced staff are available to discuss your diagnosis and other questions you may have.

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How do I get a diagnosis?

To get confirmation of Sleep Apnoea you would first need to do a sleep test. If this confirms that CPAP would be suitable, you can then go ahead and choose your machine.

You can do a sleep study through the NHS, or privately. Through the NHS you would need to be referred to a sleep clinic by your GP. From there, the target time for tests is around 14 weeks. You may then be issued with a machine from the clinic’s supply.

You can do an in-home sleep study privately if you prefer, which provides your result within 10 working days. Assuming the result confirms your suitability for CPAP, you can then purchase the machine and mask of your choice.

At Intus Healthcare we offer in-home sleep tests which you can do without the need for a doctors appointment. Once completed your sleep data is read by one of our NHS trained Sleep Technicians.

Where can I buy a CPAP machine?

If you have already completed a sleep study, or have confirmation from a sleep clinic or doctor, you can provide the documents to us and we can assist you in purchasing a device and a suitable mask of your choice.

If you need help deciding which machine is right for you, then please see our guide How to Choose a Machine.

If you need help deciding which mask you need, please read our guide How to Choose a Mask.

Machine costs can range depending on the brand, accessories and features on the device. If you need any help please do not hesitate to contact us.

How to get started with CPAP therapy

After you have confirmed Sleep Apnoea, you can begin setting up and using your therapy. The process is straightforward and follows a series of simple steps:

  • Decide where the most appropriate place is to set up your machine; we recommend a place with stable support, close to your bed and an electrical outlet so it can be easily plugged in.
  • Check your machine has a filter by viewing your user manual to find the small filter compartment.
  • Attach one end of your hose to your machine.
  • Attach the other end of your hose to your mask.
  • If you choose to use a humidifier, ensure you fill it to the recommended level with distilled water only.
  • Ensure your power cable is connected to your therapy and an electrical outlet.
  • Put on your mask.
  • Turn on your device and sleep comfortably.

For more tips and tricks, read our CPAP therapy blog.