PAP therapy is very safe and effective for treating sleep apnea, however it is important that patients understand it may take some time to get used to the therapy – especially with having a mask on while sleeping and trying to sleep while breathing against the positive airway pressure. Gradual increase in the hours of nocturnal use may be needed, before completely acclimatizing to the therapy.
When adjusting to the PAP therapy, some may experience dryness of throat, nasal congestion, headaches, skin irritation. However most of these side effects are temporary and can be improved through a better mask fit or addition of a humidifier. Should other problems persist, patients can always check with the RMT/ physician on ways to troubleshoot.
Till this day, PAP therapy is still considered to be the most effective non-invasive intervention for treating sleep apnea. However, there are other options in the event that PAP therapy does not work for patient. Such options vary to each individuals’ condition, and are namely – oral appliances, surgery, weight loss, positional therapy and orofacial therapy.