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1. What is OSA ?

The respiratory structures involved in snoring are the uvula and soft palate. Normally, these muscles relax during sleep. If they relax too much, the upper airway becomes narrow, and some people begin to snore. If the airway becomes partially blocked, this may cause breathing difficulties. Sometimes, the airway becomes completely blocked, and the person temporarily stops breathing, experiencing an obstructive apnea or sleep apnea.

2. Who are likely to have OSA?

Ans. All individuals can acquire OSA although it is more evident in individual ages 35 to 54 years old. Men are more at risk in acquiring OSA than in women. After the menopausal stage, women are likely to show symptoms of OSA.Overweight and obese people are also prone to OSA. Studies show that 60% of the elderly (individuals ages 65 years and above) are suffering from OSA. OSA may be hereditary or is a matter of abnormal structure of the bones especially jaws.

3. What is the Treatment of OSA ?

Ans. Includes general measures- such as losing weight, cessation of smoking, drinking alcohol. Specific measures include : use of PAP therapy, oral appliances, nasal surgery ( if indicated).

4. Is there any other option besides CPAP?

Ans. Yes there is a dental device


1. What is a CPAP Machine?

Ans. Positive airway pressure devices provide air under pressure that keeps the airway open which consists of a machine, pipe and a mask.

Q2A. What are the types of machines available?

There are different types of machines. Your physician will decide which one is suitable for you.
CPAP Machines (CPAP) - provides a straight continuous pressure.

Autotitration Machines (Auto) -

provides a flexible pressure based on a set pressure range. As the machine recognizes a change in breathing that could lead to an apnea, the pressure is increased in an attempt to prevent the apnea. The advantage of an Auto is you can spend parts of the night at a lower pressure and the machine raises the pressure only when the machine determines it's necessary.

Bilevel Machines (Bilevel) -

provides different inspiratory (inhalation) and expiratory (exhalation) pressures. Bilevel machines are typically used for people who have difficulty exhaling against their CPAP pressure.
Autotitration Bilevel Machines (Auto Bilevel) - provides a combination of Auto and Bilevel features. The inspiratory pressure is set to vary as needed based on the breathing pattern and the expiratory pressure is also set to vary as needed.

3A. When should I use my CPAP machine?

Ans. You should use you CPAP machine and devices as advised and prescribed by your doctor. The usual recommendation for the use of a CPAP machine is every night and it should be used during the entire duration of your sleep

4. When should I start feeling better after beginning to use my PAP device?

Ans. You should feel better within a week, though some people may take a little longer.

5. What if I still snore while using the PAP device?

Ans. There should be no snoring when you use CPAP. If it does, contact your doctor.

6. What if I lose or gain weight or my old symptoms reappear?

Ans. A small change in weight can impact the pressure level needed to maintain an open airway. If symptoms reappear you may need to have your PAP pressure adjusted.

7. As I continue to use my PAP device on a regular basis, will my medications need to be adjusted?

Ans. Only after consulting your doctor.

8. My skin seems irritated, even bruised, or I have marks on my face?

Ans. Your mask may be too tight. Or You may have the wrong mask size. Contact your supplier for another style or type of mask.

9. My mouth is dry?

  • You may be sleeping with your mouth open. Try a chin strap.
  • Or you might need a humidifier.

10. I just can't seem to adjust to using CPAP?

  • Most people will adjust to CPAP in one or two weeks. Occasionally, it may take a little longer.
  • Spend some time practicing with your PAP machine during the day while awake. Start wearing your mask for only a few minutes at a time and gradually increase the time. Some amount of discomfort during the initial therapy is not unusual. PAP can work for you if you give it a chance.
  • Attending a patient support group, www.sleepapnoeaindia.com

14. How do I clean my machine?

Ans. Cleaning PAP devices-

  • Regular cleaning is essential to assure proper function and safety of PAP devices.
  • Method and schedule for cleaning hoses and masks and for changing filter may be different for each PAP devices.
  • Improper care of PAP devices, filters, mask, and hoses can lead to nasal and sinus problems (congestion, infection, etc.).
  • Can use v mild detergents for cleaning, please ask you provider for details.

12. Can I travel with my machine?

  • Most PAP machines available today come equipped with transformers that allow them to be used with international (220v) voltages when you travel to foreign countries.
  • Current PAP models are lightweight and portable.
  • A travel case for the device and accessories often comes with the machine, or can be purchased from the manufacturer. A battery power option is available for those who camp.
  • Airport x-ray devices do not harm PAP machines.
  • High altitudes can affect the performance of your PAP machine.

13. Can I use my machine if I have a cold?

  • Colds/Congestion- You may find you PAP more difficult to use when you have a cold or severe congestion. You may need more humidity, or a decongestant. If you develop nasal, sinus or ear pain when using your machine, this could be a sign of developing infection.

11. Where should I place my CPAP machine?

Ans. Make sure that you set up your CPAP machine on a firm ground or floor. Look for a place accessible from your bed. The area should always be clean to avoid dust from accumulating into your CPAP machine. To avoid overheating, make sure that the air inlet port is not blocked.

16. What is a nasal pillow device?

Ans. Similar to a nasal mask, a nasal pillow device seals the nose area at the edge of the patient's nostril. Unlike nasal masks that cover the entire nose. It comes in different pillow sizes to allow for a better fitting. Nasal pillow devices are best used by individuals with OSA who usually lie on their stomach or on their sides. This device is also recommended for people with facial hair.

15. What are the common side effects of CPAP therapy and how can they be avoided?

Ans. With good preparation, patient education and a bit of trial and error, CPAP therapy can be a comfortable experience for anyone. However, at times you may experience any of the following. Below are the most common side effects of using a CPAP machine and how patients can avoid them:

Nasal congestion

Nasal congestion is a common complaint among CPAP machine users. This is mainly because there is lack of adequate moisture in the air that you breathe in. A humidifier could help improve such issues may also help.

Dry eyes

Some people who use CPAP machines and masks observe that their eyes tend to dry out in the morning. This is caused by air leaking from your oversized CPAP mask. This issue can be resolved by getting a CPAP mask that fits you.