Nasal side effects and headaches from CPAP therapy can be treated with the use of a humidifier. CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP machines are medical devices that must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, and must be obtained with a prescription.
CPAP therapy is the most effective non-surgical treatment method for obstructive sleep apnea, a type of sleep apnea in which the airways collapse during sleep. There are some risks and side effects associated with CPAP therapy, but most occur in the beginning stages of treatment and begin to subside as treatment continues. Patients who have a difficult time adjusting should talk to their doctors about using a different mask type or a different type of machine, called a bilevel positive airway pressure machine or BiPAP, that has automatically adjusting air pressure for inhaling and exhaling.

It takes most patients a few weeks to a few months to become comfortable with CPAP therapy. They are usually about the size of a shoebox and include a flexible tube that runs from the machine to a mask. It is most often used for patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea, and has been shown to be extremely effective in treating the condition. Ensuring the mask fits properly and no air leaks out around the mask is also important to maximize comfort and effectiveness, as well as minimize side effects. After going through a sleep study and getting on CPAP therapy, his work improved greatly (as did his mood!). There are several different types of CPAP masks available, and which kind is used mostly depends on what is most comfortable for the patient.

Research has shown that CPAP therapy helps decrease daytime sleepiness, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of more serious heart problems in patients with preexisting coronary artery disease. Most sleep apnea patients continue to see a sleep specialist regularly to evaluate their progress and machine settings.
A CPAP machine prevents airways from closing during sleep by increasing air pressure in the throat.

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