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What is CPAP for sleep apnea?

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The most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP blows air with continuous pressure down your throat at night to keep your airways open while you sleep. The treatment is done using a CPAP machine, which consists of three main parts:

CPAP machines are small, lightweight, and fairly quiet. If you travel, you should take your CPAP with you.

  • Mask that fits over your nose -- or your nose and mouth -- and is held in place with straps while you sleep
  • Motor that blows air
  • Large tube called a cannula that connects the motor to the mask

From: Mouth Devices for Sleep Apnea WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

The Ohio State University Medical Center: "Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)."

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "What Is CPAP?"

MedlinePlus: "Nasal CPAP."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Obstructive sleep apnea - Dental Devices."

American Sleep Apnea Association: "Taking a Bite Out of OSA."

Academy of General Dentistry: "Breathing Easier."

American Sleep Apnea Association: "Treatment Options for Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea."

New York University Langone Medical Center: "Continuous Positive Airway Pressure."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on August 30, 2019

SOURCES:

The Ohio State University Medical Center: "Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)."

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "What Is CPAP?"

MedlinePlus: "Nasal CPAP."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Obstructive sleep apnea - Dental Devices."

American Sleep Apnea Association: "Taking a Bite Out of OSA."

Academy of General Dentistry: "Breathing Easier."

American Sleep Apnea Association: "Treatment Options for Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea."

New York University Langone Medical Center: "Continuous Positive Airway Pressure."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on August 30, 2019

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How does CPAP help treat sleep apnea?

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