Understanding Your Sleep Therapy Device
Sleep Apnea is a common, chronic disorder that disrupts your sleep. During sleep apnea episodes, individuals may experience one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping. Breathing pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes and can occur 30 or more times an hour. Typically, normal breathing resumes on its own, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness and high blood pressure. Breathing pauses or shallow breaths, often force you out of a deep sleep and into a light sleep, thus affecting the quality of sleep received and causing you to feel tired during the day.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is caused by complete or partial obstruction of the upper airway. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor or sleep specialist may have prescribed the use of a breathing device designed to treat your sleep apnea symptoms. This device, known as a PAP machine, is designed to provide an adequate amount of positive airway pressure (PAP) to keep your airway from collapsing while you are asleep. Although PAP machines are not a cure for sleep apnea or their symptoms, they are the most commonly recommended treatment method.
There are three main types of devices for PAP therapy:
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
- AutoPAP (Auto-Adjusting Positive Airway Pressure)
- BiPAP (Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure)