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Setting up for CPAP Success

By Eric Huang, M.D.

California Center for Sleep Disorders

 

CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, remains the optimal way to treat many cases of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  In most instances it is the treatment of choice for severe OSA.

For most folks the idea of having to use a machine and mask is annoying, if not intimidating on some level.  The first thing to understand is how the machine works.  The device is basically a fan.  It’s actually not much more complicated than that.  The fan pushes air through a mask, and because it enters in through the nose and/or the mouth under pressure, the air gently pushes the upper airway open.  The pressure prevents the upper airway from narrowing and closing, so that oxygen doesn’t drop and the body doesn’t struggle to breathe.  To be clear, the machine is not a ventilator; it does not breathe for you. 

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Not Enough Sleep

By Eric Huang, M.D.

California Center for Sleep Disorders

 

Several years ago I lived with roommates in a flat above a pizza place.  Everything was fine for the first few months and we all enjoyed a sense of community.  Then, as sometimes happens with people living together, conflict arose.  Despite several discussions, an agreement couldn’t be reached between two of the roommates.  The apartment soon became a place of tension and I had little interest in being around the negativity.  Because everyone still kept a regular schedule and went to bed at the same time, it was easy to predict when to come home to avoid the bad vibes.  Unfortunately, that time was well past midnight and while there were no problems the first handful of nights, the second week proved to be another story.  I was getting only four to five hours of sleep a night and was paying for it during the day. 

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