Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) uses a small device to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) breathe more easily during sleep. A CPAP machine uses air pressure to prevent your airway from collapsing when you breathe in. It is the most effective, widely used nonsurgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. A CPAP unit is portable and can be taken to wherever you travel.
The CPAP device will have one of the following for optimal fit and comfort:
Full Face Mask - A mask that covers your nose and mouth
Nasal Mask - A mask that covers your nose only
Nasal Pillow - Small fitted nose piece
The air is generally warmed and humidified to make wearing it as comfortable as possible.
It may take time for you to become comfortable with using CPAP. If you cannot get used to it after 1-2 weeks, talk to your physician. You may be able to try another type of mask or make other adjustments. Other options for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea are available.