How CPAP controls sleep apnea

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How CPAP controls sleep apnea


CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, is a treatment option for sleep apnea. The airway pressure is provided by a machine at your bedside that either blows air through small tubes in your nose or through a mask which fits over your nose.

As you sleep, pressure is continuously supplied to the back of your throat. The pressure of the air keeps your throat open. This often ends the cycle of waking and falling asleep, as well as snoring, both of which may keep others awake.

The CPAP machine doesn't breathe for you. You can continue to breathe in and out normally on your own.

A variety of masks are available. If one type of mask isn't comfortable, ask your doctor for suggestions about where to find the best mask for you.

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Last Updated: 2009-09-29
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