Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
The treatment of choice for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. It is non-invasive, well tolerated by patients, and relatively inexpensive. CPAP is nearly 100% effective when patients are compliant with the therapy.
This treatment entails wearing a mask - generally over the nose but possibly covering the mouth as well - through which a steady flow of air passes from a small blower unit. This air creates a pressure build-up in the upper airway, preventing the airways from collapsing. This air-splint or column allows you to breathe without obstructions or resistance. The amount of pressure necessary to open the airways and keep them open is unique to each patient and therefore must be determined during a second polysomnogram called a CPAP titration.