CPAP therapy has a language all its own, and you might hear us toss around terms or acronyms that mean absolutely nothing to you, a new CPAP user. Please excuse us in advance - some terms and concepts that are so natural to us might not help you at all understand your therapy or choose a CPAP set-up.
Here we've tried to compile a list of some of the most common CPAP terms used and their meanings. Hopefully, this will get you started in your research about CPAP... sometimes it's just a matter of knowing the right word or acronym to find the information you need!
CPAP - Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. The technology behind your treatment. Also used when talking about the machine used to deliver this pressure or the mask used to deliver the pressure to your airway (i.e. CPAP Mask or CPAP Machine).
BiPAP or Bi-Level - Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure. This technology is a more sophisticated form of PAP therapy that delivers two different pressures - one on inhalation (a higher... [More]
Whether your doctor suspects some form of sleep disorder, or you’ve had a diagnosis for years, chances are you will be required at some point to undergo a full sleep study (known clinically as a polysomnogram) to either diagnosis or reevaluate your current sleep problems. Though the test itself will probably not be the most comfortable or relaxing night’s sleep you’ve ever had, your sleep study does not have to be a dreaded experience. Educating yourself about your experience and preparing for the possible experiences you might have will go a long way in calming your nerves for your next sleep study. Below are a few things to expect or remember for your first (or follow-up) polysomnogram:
1) Sleep Studies Have Many Purposes – Seasoned CPAP users may not feel they need a sleep study to continue their treatment, and undiagnosed individuals may not believe there is actually anything wrong, but regardless of your feelings about the study, remember this – a sle... [More]
So, you've had a sleep study and been given the news you were already probably prepared for based on your doctor's suspicions - you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Your persistent snoring that you shrugged off for years has been revealed to be a real problem. Your sleepiness at work or while driving isn't because you're getting older - it's because you have a medical disorder that needs to be treated.
For some this diagnosis might be devastating, while for others it might be a relief. Depending on the severity of symptoms and the length of time they've been occurring, some might be excited to have a solution for their increasing fatigue, weight gain, and irritability. No matter what emotion you feel when you are officially diagnosed with sleep apnea (and you may actually feel a combination of many), try to remember a few things - 1) Sleep apnea is now believed to be as common as diabetes with as many as 20 million Americans estimated to be affected and 2) there is treatment that is prove... [More]
Snoring is completely normal, right? Loud snoring that wakes up my spouse or pet and sometimes even wakes me up is a pretty normal thing. I know tons of my friends who do it too. It's normal to snore... isn't it?
I hear the statements above (or some variation of them) a lot. Snoring is something that people tease one another about or, at worse, causes arguments between spouses about who deserves to sleep on the couch more. But, in truth, the majority of snoring is not a normal process of sleeping. And it can mean some serious problems for your health if left untreated.
Most snoring (about 70%) is caused by a literal obstruction in the throat. The sound of persistent nightly snoring can be explained by tissue in the throat or mouth that is obstructing air and causing the classic flapping or snorting sound that is the typical snore. So when I put it that way, doesn't it sound a lot more dangerous and a lot less "normal"?
If the majority of snoring is caused by an actual physical obstruct... [More]
While education and information surrounding sleep apnea has certainly increased in the past few years, there are still an alarming number of people and healthcare professionals who don't see the disorder as the silent killer it can be. So many times the loud snoring associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea is laughed or teased about and considered a normal part of many American's lives.
But based on our experiences here dealing with sleep apnea patients every day and on studies done by physicians specializing in sleep medicine, snoring and the other outward symptoms of sleep apnea (daytime sleepiness, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, dry mouth, acid reflux while sleeping) are not normal and should not be part of anyone's regular day-to-day routine. So many sufferers blame these outward signs on increased age or lifestyle changes and ignore or attempt to adapt to some of the debilitating symptoms. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is shockingly prevalent in today's population with an estimate... [More]