What is CPAP?

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CPAP ( Continuous Positive Airway Pressure ) is a common and very effective treatment for Sleep Apnoea. This is why it is the most recommended treatment by sleep physicians Australia wide.

CPAP or APAP is the delivery of gentle air pressure in the form of an airway splint to assist your airway to remain open during sleep. The pressure required to keep the airway open depends on how severe you sleep apnoea is. CPAP does not breathe for you, is simply opens the airway to facilitate your own breathing.

There are two different types of PAP ( positive airway pressure ) devices, CPAP or APAP

CPAP is a fixed continuous airway pressure pre determined in titration.

APAP is an auto adjusting pressure determined by your PAP machine as you breath. It will measure resistance in the airway and modify pressure to ensure airways are open

CPAP and APAP therapy is delivered through a mask which covers either the nostrils only, the whole nose, or the mouth and nose together. If selected in consultation with a clinician, your mask will be comfortable and easy to use.


What Is A Sleep Apnoea?

Most of us have experienced trouble sleeping at one time or another. This is normal and usually temporary due to stress or other outside factors. However, if sleep problems become regular and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from sleep apnoea.

Sleep apnoea occurs when there is an interruption to breathing when we are asleep, and the brain is required to “wake” the body up so you can resume normal breathing. There are three forms of sleep apnoea: obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea and complex or mixed sleep apnea (i.e, a combination of central and obstructive) Apnoea’s can occur hundreds of time each night with serious consequences to your body.

Symptoms of sleep apnoea include:

  • • Snoring
  • • Daytime sleepiness
  • • Slow reflexes
  • • Memory problems
  • • Poor concentration
  • • Depression / moodiness
  • • Irritability
  • • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • • Sore throat / dry mouth
  • • Morning headaches
  • • Frequent Urination throughout the night
  • • Loss of libido/ Impotence
  • • Gastric reflux
  • • Depression
  • • Feeling unrefreshed in the morning
  • • Daytime sleepiness
  • • Falling asleep in inappropriate places – Nodding off

Sleep apnoea can also lead to serious health problems over time including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain. But with treatment you can control the symptoms, get your sleep back on track, and start enjoy being refreshed and alert every day. So if you’re experiencing sleeping problems, it is important to have the cause of your sleeping problems diagnosed.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea ( OSA ) is the most common condition that causes the upper airway to collapse during sleep resulting in temporary blockages in breathing. There are 2 types of obstructions in the airway for sufferers of OSA:

OBSTRUCTIVE APNOEA (OA)= cessation of airflow for 10 seconds or greater.
HYPOPNEA (H) =>50% decrease in airflow for 10 seconds or greater with a decrease in oxygen saturation of >3%
Both events mostly occur in REM sleep, but have also been recorded in slow wave sleep, which are less common.

As we relax into sleep, our muscles relax too. For OSA sufferers, the upper airway relaxes to the point of blocking the airway causing an interruption to breathing ( an obstruction ).

When you have an obstruction of any type, the oxygen levels in your blood stream decrease. When your brain realises that it isn’t getting enough oxygen, it sends a message to your body to wake you up. This is often associated with a loud snort or gasp for breath. Your heart rate is increased as you wake up, sometimes to double that of its resting rate as the airway opens to let in oxygen.

These breathing pauses typically last between 10 to 20 seconds ( however some can last over 60 seconds!) and can occur up to hundreds of times every night jolting you out of your natural sleep rhythm. As a consequence, you spend more time in light sleep and less time in the deep, restorative sleep you need to be energetic, mentally sharp, and productive the next day.

While most people with sleep apnoea don’t remember these awakenings, they might feel exhausted during the day, irritable and depressed, or see a decrease in productivity.

Sleep apnoea is a serious, and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have sleep apnoea, call us today to arrange a sleep study.

Symptoms of sleep apnoea include:

  • Loud, chronic snoring
  • Frequent pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Gasping, snorting, or choking during sleep
  • Feeling exhausted after waking
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Waking up with shortness of breath, chest pains, nasal congestion, or a dry throat
  • Moodiness
  • Impotence
Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA)

Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA) is the least common condition where breathing is disrupted regularly during sleep, because of the way the brain functions. It is not that you cannot breathe (which is true in obstructive sleep apnoea); rather, you do not try to breathe at all. The brain does not tell your muscles to breathe.

Central sleep apnoea is often associated with other conditions. One form of central sleep apnoea however, has no known cause, and is not associated with any other disease. In addition, central sleep apnoea can occur with obstructive sleep apnoea, or it can occur alone.

Conditions that may be associated with central sleep apnoea include the following:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hypothyroid Disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Damage to the brainstem caused by encephalitis, stroke, injury, or other factors

Sleep apnoea is a serious, and potentially life-threatening, sleep disorder. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have sleep apnoea, see a doctor right away

Complex or Mixed Sleep Apnoea

Complex or mixed sleep apnoea – is a combination of the two types of sleep apnoeas. See Obstructive sleep Apnoea or Central Sleep Apnoea

Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

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