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When a CPAP Might Be Right for You

When a CPAP Might Be Right for You

If you or your partner snores, you know it can be both annoying and embarrassing. But if you wake up most mornings feeling fatigued or dealing with a headache, your snoring problem may be due to a condition known as sleep apnea. This is a dangerous disorder that causes you to stop breathing several times during the night.

At the Snoring & Sleep Apnea Center in Seattle, Washington, we partner with sleep specialists to determine if you’re suffering from sleep apnea. If it is determined that you indeed have sleep apnea, there are times when a CPAP may be necessary.

Understanding sleep apnea

It’s no surprise that when you go to sleep at night, everything in your body relaxes. This is also true for the soft tissues in your mouth and throat, which get very relaxed during sleep. Sometimes, these tissues can at least partially cover your airway, leading to loud snoring during the night.

A little snoring is usually harmless, but sometimes your snoring is a sign of a more serious disorder, known as obstructive sleep apnea. It causes you to stop breathing several times throughout the night, which leads to a variety of symptoms, including:

Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous condition that can lead to other issues — such as high blood pressure or heart problems — if not treated. However, because you don’t know what’s going on when you sleep, your partner is usually the first one to notice the signs of this disorder.

The good news is that obstructive sleep apnea is treatable. If you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, Dr. Christian often recommends a sleep study to determine if you have this condition. If so, she may recommend a CPAP machine to treat your symptoms.

How a CPAP machine works

A CPAP machine — CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure — helps to keep your airway open during the night. How is this possible? 

The CPAP machine works by pushing air into your airway to keep it open while you’re sleeping. The machine has a quiet motor that creates continuous pressure in the air that’s pushed through a tube into a mask you wear on your face.

The mask goes around your nose or mouth and creates a tight seal for the pressurized air to get to. This seal allows the pressure to keep the relaxed tissues in your mouth from settling over and blocking your airway. 

The CPAP machine not only keeps your airway open, but it also sends a continuous flow of oxygen into your lungs. Without any obstructions, you get better quality sleep and your symptoms should improve after a few nights with the machine.

When do you need a CPAP?

More mild forms of sleep apnea can be treated with oral appliances. However, if your sleep apnea is severe, a CPAP machine may be the only way for you to prevent further medical problems for this disorder. Other indications you may need a CPAP machine include:

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, don’t continue to suffer and hope it will just go away. Get a proper diagnosis and professional treatment at Snoring & Sleep Apnea Center. Call our office today at 206-905-6998, or request your appointment online using our convenient booking tool.

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