CPAP is one of the more common methods recommended for patients suffering from moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. The device uses a mask that fits over the face either the nose or nose and mouth and applies continues air pressure that will keep the tissue pushed open. While CPAP does not cure sleep apnea, it greatly reduces if not eliminates the episodes.
Some patients report difficulty with the types of masks and may go through several to find one that fits comfortably and allows for sleep. It takes practice to adjust the straps in order to find a fit that is both secure (no leaks) and comfortable (not too much pressure on the face). A chin strap may be required for those who wear only a nasal mask to train the mouth to stay closed during sleep. Many CPAP machines also feature a humidifier function to prevent drying out and damage to the nasal and throat passages.
CPAP machines are not 100% successful and may require some adjustment over time. Significant changes to lifestyle and weight may also require a modification of the pressure on the CPAP machine.