Cpap Treatment For Respiratory Ailments

CPAP treatment stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. The most common indication for it is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a type of breathing disorder that occurs during sleep. It occurs when the soft tissues in the human airway around the throat collapse as a result of relaxation during sleep. Left untreated, it can contribute to daytime sleepiness at least and at worst, it can cause hypertension, heart failure, stroke, diabetes and, ultimately, death.

The device consists of a Positive Airway Pressure machine (PAP) to provide airflow, a hose to connect the airflow generator to the interface and the interface itself. This can be a mask, nasal pillows or a special mouthpiece. Sometimes an in-line humidifier is added to the apparatus. Positive pressure created by the airflow is adjusted to maintain the airway in the open position. It is important for the user and the technician to work together as a team to obtain the optimum system for the individual and encourage compliance.

Treatment does have some side effects. Occasionally it causes skin irritation. It may also cause a stuffy nose or headache. If not properly adjusted, the apparatus can cause stomach bloating and discomfort. If the mask is not adjusted properly, it is not unknown for the user to slip it off unconsciously during sleep.

Various optional features can be added to make the system more comfortable for the patient and improve compliance. For instance, heated water can be added via a humidifier to eliminate the effects of dryness caused by compressed air. A passive humidifier is another option. It is less effective than the heated version but it does relieve dryness. Cloth-based mask covers may be used to improve the seal and reduce skin problems. A rheostat to control the pressure may be used to gradually increase air pressure as the user goes to sleep.

Exhalation pressure relief makes it easier to breathe out against the airflow. Flexible chin straps may be attached to help the user keep from breathing through their mouth, another source of dryness and irritation. Data logging may be added to measure patient compliance.

PAP ventilation may also be used in intensive care units for people with who are extremely ill with respiratory failure. It is also sometimes used on neonatal units to help premature infants with their breathing. Patients with neuromuscular disease may also benefit from treatment. In some patients, it can eliminate the need for tracheal intubation, a risky procedure requiring a high level of special training.

The treatment was invented at the University of California in San Francisco by a team of neonatologists. A modification of the system was developed by a group of physicians in Australia.

There are other indications for positive airway pressure. These include heart failure and chronic lung diseases. It is sometimes used in people with certain types of pneumonia or reduced oxygen saturation. It may also be used in people who have a serious asthma attack. It is contraindicated for those with a compromised airway or with impaired consciousness.