CPAP therapy – the solution to Sleep Apnoea
CPAP therapy is the most common treatment option for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is when apnoeas (breathing pauses) and hypopnoeas (breathing restrictions) repeatedly occur as your upper airway becomes obstructed. This is due to the relaxing of muscles and the subsequent collapse of the tissue surrounding the passageway. Generally preceded by snoring, these pauses and reductions in airflow are often followed by choking a gasping sounds as the brain reacts to the oxygen drop by momentarily waking you from your sleep.
CPAP therapy consists of the CPAP Machine, The CPAP Hose and the CPAP Mask. Each is integral to the successful treatment of OSA. Once your tested and have OSA confirmed you can begin receiving CPAP therapy. The quality of your sleep will improve like millions of other Sleep Apnoea patients around the world. You can read more about CPAP and other topics from this guide or contact Intus Healthcare if you need further information. Intus healthcare offers unrivalled choice and impartial advice about CPAP machines, CPAP Masks and alternatives to CPAP therapy.
This page has information about CPAP as a whole; if you’re looking for information about specific parts of the therapy, please click the appropriate option – otherwise, please keep scrolling!
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. It provides constant pressure into the CPAP patient’s airway to keep it inflating and open, and in doing so prevents it from becoming blocked.
There are several treatment options for Sleep Apnoea, but none are used as much as CPAP. This is because CPAP is very versatile; it can be used for all severities of Sleep Apnoea, and has relatively few contraindications (other health problems that would make it unsafe). Today, the number of machine and mask options is higher than ever before, making it easier to find a combination that works for almost every patient.
CPAP therapy is very effective at treating Sleep Apnoea and therefore provides a significant reduction in the symptoms it causes – and can prevent them entirely in many cases. For those suffering from chronic symptoms, such as excessive daytime tiredness, depression and anxiety, the impact of CPAP therapy can be truly life-changing.
These are some of the benefits CPAP can provide:
- Reduce or prevent snoring – allowing those close to you better sleep
- Prevent breathing interruptions during the night, allowing for deeper, more restorative sleep
- Relieve excessive daytime sleepiness caused by constant sleep interruptions
- Decrease or prevent high blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease
Improving your sleep quality and reducing strain on your heart through the repeated breathing interruptions achieves these benefits.
CPAP can benefit other health conditions, such as snoring.
It is important to note that CPAP is not a ventilator. A ventilator takes over the users breathing pattern. A CPAP simply blows air into the airway, and the user continues to breathe for themselves as normal (albeit with more resistance due to the CPAP pressure).
What does CPAP therapy consist of?
CPAP uses a machine and mask, connected by a tube.
A typical CPAP setup is made up of:
Additional optional parts include:
- CPAP humidifier
- Comfort accessories such as a CPAP Hose Fleece, CPAP Hose Lift, Chin Strap etc.
The CPAP machine generates the air pressure, which is sent through the tube to the face mask.
How to get a CPAP machine?
To get a CPAP machine, you would first need to do a sleep test. 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 your suitability for CPAP, you can then purchase the CPAP machine and CPAP mask of your choice.
You can find out more about our Sleep Test service, and order your test, by clicking here.
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.