A CPAP machine is perhaps the single most effective way to treat sleep apnea. Once an individual has been diagnosed with sleep apnea by their doctor, they’ll go through a process called a CPAP titration study. This is where they will be fitted for their CPAP mask and machine that will ultimately be used to treat their sleep apnea.
The individual who has been diagnosed with sleep apnea will normally be diagnosed as a result of a study in an overnight sleep clinic. They can then expect to spend another night at a sleep clinic whereby their sleep activity is monitored without a CPAP for the first half of the night, and with the CPAP machine for the second half of the night.
Why Do I Need a CPAP Titration Test?
Everyone is a different size and shape, and everyone who has sleep apnea reacts to it differently. Some people will respond well to a relatively low pressure, some people won’t respond until a high pressure has been reached. Many factors need to be taken into account, such as your weight, height, age, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re young or older, and whether you have obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea. A CPAP titration test means that all of those factors are addressed and you get the absolute best treatment for your sleep apnea.
What to Expect From a CPAP Titration Test
Your sleep technician will place a number of electrodes onto your body and head to measure your brain waves and your ability to breathe through your mouth and nose. You’ll also have a band around your chest in order to measure your breathing and you may also have a breathing tube in your nose. During the first half of the night, the sleep technician will simply note all of the information coming from the electrodes and breathing apparatus. During the second half of the night, you’ll be fitted with a CPAP mask and machine set at a general air pressure. The technician will then note the resulting information coming from the electrodes. If the pressure you’re being given via the CPAP machine does not lower the amount of apnea or hypopnea episodes per hour, the technician will alter the pressure accordingly. This process will continue over the night until the optimum pressure for you has been reached. The air pressure will then stay as it is for the rest of the night until you wake up. In some cases, this study will be repeated over a number of nights as your sleep conditions do change according to circumstance, so one number from one night isn’t often enough to give you exactly the right CPAP pressure for you.
Can CPAP Titration Be Done at Home?
In many cases, yes, you can have CPAP titration at home. It really depends on your doctor and your medical insurance. You’ll be given a CPAP machine with advanced data readout and this information will be given to your doctor after a number of days’ worth of titration. After this process, you’ll then be pointed in the direction of the best CPAP pressure, mask and machine for you.
Your doctors will also let you know whether a full face CPAP mask or a nasal CPAP mask is best for you. Again, this depends on what type of sleep apnea you have and how severe it is. There are a huge number of masks available, but not all of them are available through medical insurance, so ask your doctors. You’ll also need hosing and mask filters, and in some cases, if your mask is uncomfortable or the straps dig into your face, you’ll need strap covers.