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A 30-year-old member asked:

does a cpap breathing machine keep your throat airway open?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gary Lederman
Dentistry 40 years experience
No: The purpose of the CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) is to overcome the obstruction to breathing. Mandibular advancement devices (mads) open the airway by holding the lower jaw in a forward position, opening the posterior pharyngeal airway. Research is showing the benefit of combining CPAP and mads to reduce the pressure needed to manage osa.
Dr. Nathaniel Pascual
Sleep Medicine 29 years experience
Yes -that's the idea: Continuous positive airway pressure (cpap), in theory, acts like an "air splint" - keeping the soft, floppy part of the airway open when you inhale. The upper airway is like a floppy tube. If you inhale on one end, the tube will collapse. CPAP helps prevent this. The pressure, however, needs to be adjusted for each individual as the requirements vary from person to person.
Dr. Vikas Jain
Sleep Medicine 13 years experience
Yes: Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a highly effective therapy that uses air pressure to prop the upper airway open during sleep, thus preventing the upper airway from collapsing. CPAP machines work by pumping room air through a compressor that is connected by a hose to a mask that is worn over or against the nose.

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Last updated Jul 3, 2019

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