If you are diagnosed with OSA, the most common treatment is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The CPAP machine is no more than a generator connecting a hose to a mask, which you wear to sleep. The treatment works as air is forced out of the generator into the nose and down the lungs. CPAP provides a gentle flow of positive pressure air into your airway to create a larger opening during sleep, thereby circumventing any obstruction.
There is some mild discomfort associated with the machine, and not everyone is able to tolerate the treatment. The CPAP machine is somewhat noisy, which might be troublesome for either the snorer or their partner. Often, wearing the mask causes mild claustrophobia, a dry nose, and the feeling that you can’t breathe. Compliance with CPAP is usually horrible, and many of my patients cannot tolerate it at all. However, the change in just one night is so dramatic that it is worth using.
The CPAP machine itself will not cure sleep apnea. However, if you are on a weight-loss program or go for any of the forms of surgery that relieve obstruction, your apnea may be cured, and you may no longer require the CPAP machine. However, until the time that your apnea is cured, use of the machine will allow you a more restful, and safer, night of sleep.