What Is Sleep Apnoea?

What is Sleep Apnoea?

The most common sign of sleep apnoea or hypopnoea is loud, irregular snoring – the sound made as air passes through the narrowed throat and windpipe (the airway) – and then long pauses when the person doesn’t seem to be breathing at all.

Normally when we are asleep, the muscles in our body relax but our airway stays open, allowing us to breathe normally. However, for some people, the airway doesn’t stay open – which stops them breathing (apnoea, pronounced ap-nee-a) or, if their breathing is only partly blocked, the airflow is reduced (hypopnoea, pronounced hi-pop-nee-a). This is what doctors call obstructive sleep apnoea. Often, this interruption of a person’s breathing will cause them to wake up repeatedly through the night, gasping for air.

Luckily for most people, these symptoms can be treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices as well as a number of other options.

CPAP, pronounced see-pap, is the gold standard method in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in adults. It involves splinting the upper airway and preventing the collapse of these structures, while also abolishing snoring.

To achieve this, the CPAP unit will deliver a continuous, low pressure to the upper airway via a nasal and/or mouth mask. While using this therapy, no additional oxygen is delivered, the pressure is generated solely from filtered room air.

The (CPAP) air flow generates the required pressure to keep the upper airways open during sleep. The air pressure is delivered through the application of a CPAP mask. The CPAP study is required to determine the appropriate pressure settings to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and snoring.

There is a very large range of masks available so you can optimise comfort and fit for your CPAP treatment.