What is CPAP Therapy?
What is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)?
CPAP is the name of a form of therapy, and stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP is a treatment primarily for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). CPAP itself uses a CPAP machine which supplies regular air to a facial mask. This provides constant pressure into the CPAP patient's airway, creating an air splint that prevent the airway from collapsing.
CPAP is used by millions of people worldwide. For treatment of OSA, CPAP is the most effective method for all severities of the condition. Many of those with OSA, and the excessive daytime tiredness it often causes, find CPAP to be a life-changing treatment for their condition. As a fairly new treatment (just over 20 years), CPAP is a rapidly progressing technology that is increasingly comfortable, effective and economical.
If you have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (not sure? Find out here) then these are some of the benefits CPAP can provide:
Correct snoring so others in your household can sleep
Improve your quality of sleep
Relieve excessive daytime sleepiness caused by constant sleep interruptions
Decrease or prevent high blood pressure
This is all through improving your sleep quality and reducing strain on your heart through the repeated breathing interruptions.
CPAP can also be used for other conditions, such as snoring.
An important distinction is that CPAP is not a ventilator. A ventilator takes over the users breathing pattern. A CPAP however simply blows air into the airway, and the user continues to breathe for themselves as normal (albeit with greater resistance due to the CPAP pressure).
What does CPAP consist of?
A typical CPAP setup is made up of:
Additional optional parts include:
How to get a CPAP machine?
To get a CPAP machine, you would first need to do a sleep study. If this confirms that CPAP would be suitable, you can then get the equipment.
You can either 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 a CPAP machine from the clinic's supply.
You can do an at-home sleep study privately if you prefer, which provides your result within 10 working days. Assuming the result confirms a suitability for CPAP, you can then purchase the CPAP machine and CPAP mask of your choice.
Where to buy a CPAP machine?
If you have done a study already and have something in writing to show this, then you can purchase a CPAP machine and CPAP mask of your choice from our website. You can browse our range of both here:
If you need help choosing which CPAP machine is right for you, then please see our How to Choose a CPAP Machine guide.
If you need help choosing which CPAP mask is right for you, then please see our How to Choose a CPAP Mask guide.
Further Reading About CPAP