The standard treatment for sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP, which involves wearing a mask while you sleep.
The mask conducts pressurized air through your nose, or through your nose and mouth, to your throat. The added pressure in your throat then keeps it from collapsing while you sleep, so you can breathe normally.
Using CPAP is like wearing glasses. It doesn't change your condition, but it helps to control it. CPAP therapy is highly effective if used properly every night.
What is a CPAP machine and how does it work?
CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. Air is applied through a mask that will fit over your face. The air splints the airway open so that you will be able to breathe continuously.
How do I know if I need a CPAP machine?
You'll know you need a CPAP if you have a sleep study and the sleep medicine physician recommends that you use CPAP.
When do I use CPAP?
Your sleep medicine doctor will probably recommend that you use the CPAP equipment any time you're sleeping or napping, and preferably all night.
Will I end up having to use CPAP forever?
You may, but some patients find that if they lose weight they no longer need it.
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
Often, it's the bed partner who hears the snoring or gasping and lets the patient know. If you wake up choking or gasping, that's also a sign that you could have sleep apnea. Snoring is a sign of obstruction and a cause for concern. Sleep apnea could be an indication of or could induce other health problems.
How do I get my CPAP machine?
After the doctor reads your study, he will write a prescription that will be sent to a durable medical equipment (DME) company. The DME will send your prescription to your insurance and will let you know what out-of-pocket costs, if any, you will need to pay.
How will I know how to operate and clean my CPAP?
Your durable medical equipment (DME) company will train you and will answer any questions you have.
How do I get more CPAP supplies?
Contact your durable medical equipment (DME) company.
Will my CPAP treatment be covered?
This depends upon your insurance company.
I can't afford CPAP treatment. Is there anything that can be done?
For patients who qualify, we have the Michigan CPAP Bank, which may be able to provide you with a CPAP machine and supplies. Call 734-232-3964.