Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

From sore throats and earaches to sinusitis or hearing loss, Augusta ENT is equipped to handle all your otolaryngology needs. Our team of specialists and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you. Or, for a more comprehensive search of our entire Web site, enter your term(s) in the search bar provided.


 

Conditions impairing ear function

Ears

Conditions that impair ear function can be as minor as wax buildup or as serious as congenital deafness. This section contains valuable information about how to protect your hearing, how to recognize indications of hearing disorders, and what ENT-head and neck physicians can do to evaluate and treat these problems. Learn More »

 

Maladies of the throat can be a mere nuisance or a major ordeal.

Throat

Maladies of the throat can be a mere nuisance or a major ordeal. Tonsillitis, voice disorders, and even hoarseness all interfere with our ability to communicate. Many of these conditions can be improved or corrected with the care of an ENT physician or head and neck surgeon. Learn More »

 

Varied health problems of the nose and mouth

Nose and Mouth

Congestion, allergic rhinitis, a deviated septum, and mouth sores are just a few of the varied health problems that occur in this region of the body. Information about ways you can relieve symptoms at home and when you should see a physician can be found in this section. Learn More »

 

Head and neck surgery

Head and Neck Surgery

Many surgical advances are being made in this area. Procedures such as tonsillectomy and facial plastic surgery are becoming less invasive, and new procedures are being developed to treat serious problems such as cleft palate, sleep apnea, and deafness. Learn More »

 

Early cancer detection is critical to preventing fatal outcomes

Cancer

Early detection is critical to preventing fatal outcomes. Cancers of the head and neck such as laryngeal cancer can be particularly aggressive. Signs of cancer of the head and neck include changes in the skin, pain, prolonged hoarseness, and sudden loss of voice. If you suffer from any of these symptoms you should see an ENT or head and neck physician immediately. Learn More »

 

Children face many of the same health problems that adults do, however symptoms may show themselves differently and treatment methods that work well in adults may not be appropriate for children.

Pediatric

Children face many of the same health problems that adults do, however symptoms may show themselves differently and treatment methods that work well in adults may not be appropriate for children. This section identifies common pediatric ENT, head, and neck ailments and what you should ask your child’s doctor about diagnosis and treatment. Learn More »

 

 

As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.

What Is CPAP?

The most common and effective nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP which is applied through a nasal or facial mask while you sleep.  The CPAP device does not breathe for you.  Instead, it creates a flow of air pressure when you inhale that is strong enough to keep your airway passages open.   Once your otolaryngologist determines that CPAP is the right treatment, you will need to wear the CPAP mask every night.   

How Do You Know if You Need CPAP?

When evaluating sleep apnea, your otolaryngologist may ask the following questions:

  • Does your snoring disturb your family and friends?
  • Do you have daytime sleepiness?
  • Do you wake frequently throughout the night?
  • Have you had episodes of obstructed breathing during sleep?
  • Do you have morning headaches or tiredness?

After a review of your medical history and an examination of your airway, your otolaryngologist will order an overnight sleep study.  A CPAP recommendation is made after your otolaryngologist reviews the results of the study.

How Do You Get CPAP?

If your otolaryngologist recommends CPAP, you may be scheduled for a second sleep study during which you will be fitted for a mask and CPAP device.  The level of air pressure will be adjusted during the study to eliminate the airway obstruction. Alternatively, you may be placed on a self- adjusting CPAP machine which will determine the pressure needed to keep the airway open.

What Are the Advantages of CPAP?

CPAP is the most effective means of treating snoring and sleep apnea.  It keeps airway passages open which prevents pauses in breathing and helps you to get better sleep.  This, in turn, reduces daytime sleepiness, fatigue and other sleep apnea related health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 

What Are the Disadvantages Of CPAP?

The CPAP device needs to be used every night.  Some patients complain of mask discomfort, nasal congestion, and nose and throat dryness when using CPAP.  Others find the device to be too constrictive and cumbersome, particularly when traveling.  Unfortunately, these complaints sometimes lead to inconsistent use or abandonment of the device altogether.  Proper mask fitting and use of a humidifier can resolve these issues.

What Are the Alternative Treatments For Sleep Apnea?

Lifestyle change including weight loss and exercise can help to improve sleep apnea and its related health problems.  Sleep positioning and oral appliances have also been found to be effective.  In cases when non-invasive treatments fail, a surgical solution might be necessary.  Your otolaryngologist will be able to advise you on the treatment options.