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The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine -- the most commonly prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) -- delivers air pressure that keeps the airway open by a face mask that covers the nose, which must be worn by the patient during sleep. Sleeping with the CPAP mask can be a daunting prospect for newly diagnosed OSA sufferers. Some people may find it embarrassing to wear in front of a partner. Others may find wearing it feels uncomfortable or odd at first. As effective as CPAP can be if its used consistently and correctly, there are real risks of patients abandoning the treatment, especially in the very early stages, because they feel it's too intrusive, disruptive or uncomfortable. Finding the best ways to encourage continued use of the device is a critical area of research.
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