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CPAP Machine!! Millions of people have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) a serious disorder of interrupted breathing during sleep. For people with OSA, repeated pauses in breath occur when the airway at the back of the throat becomes blocked during sleep. Worry not, there is a device called as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP Machine) for treatment of OSA patients.
CPAP machines work by pressurizing air that is delivered through a hose and mask into the airway during sleep. The steady flow of air keeps the airway open, improving respiration and sleep quality. In order to get the benefits of a CPAP, it’s important to set it up properly. Knowing the right steps can ensure that it’s working correctly and help you get used to sleeping with a CPAP.
What Is CPAP Machine?
Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) uses a machine to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) breathe more easily during sleep. A CPAP machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn’t collapse when you breathe in. When you use CPAP, your bed partner may sleep better too.
You use CPAP machine at home every night while you sleep. The CPAP machine will have one of the following:
- A mask that covers your nose and mouth.
- A mask that covers your nose only—called nasal continuous positive airway pressure, or NCPAP (this type of mask is most common).
- Prongs that fit into your nose.
Benefits Of CPAP Machine
CPAP is effective for treating sleep apnea:
- CPAP is better than other nonsurgical methods for treating obstructive sleep apnea.
- Research shows that CPAP machine decreases daytime sleepiness, especially in those who have moderate to severe sleep apnea.
- People who use CPAP machine for longer times each night (around 7 hours) have less daytime sleepiness and depression and fewer heart issues than people who use CPAP for shorter times (around 5 hours).
- People with coronary artery disease who use CPAP machine for sleep apnea are less likely to have heart problems such as heart failure.
- Studies show that in people who have moderate to severe sleep apnea, nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) lowers blood pressure during both the day and the night.
Working Procedure Of CPAP Machine
- A CPAP machine’s compressor (motor) generates a continuous stream of pressurized air that travels through an air filter into a flexible tube. This tube delivers purified air into a mask that’s sealed around your nose or mouth.
- As you sleep, the airstream from the CPAP machine pushes against any blockages, opening your airways so your lungs receive plenty of oxygen.
- Without anything obstructing this flow of oxygen, your breathing doesn’t pause. As a result, you don’t repeatedly wake up in order to resume breathing.
Types of CPAP Machine
CPAP devices all have the same basic components:
- a motor housed in a base unit
- a cushioned mask
- a tube that connects the motor to the mask
- a headgear frame
- “elbow” pieces that act as joints
- adjustable straps that allow you to customize the fit of the device
Different Mask Types of CPAP Machine
Mask styles can vary with different CPAP machine. Which type you wear depends in part on your breathing habits, how comfortable the mask is for you to wear, and the kind of sleep apnea disorder you have.
The different types of CPAP Machine include the following:
- Nasal pillow mask. This type of mask has a small cushion that caps over your nostril area. It may also have prongs that fit into your nostrils. This mask allows you to wear your glasses easily. It also works well if you have lots of facial hair that may prevent a larger mask from fitting snugly.
- Nasal mask. This type is a cushioned mask that covers your whole nose area. It may be a better option if you tend to move around in your sleep. It can deliver a high-pressure airstream.
- Full mask. This type is shaped like a triangle and covers your mouth and nose. Your doctor might prescribe this kind of mask if you breathe through your mouth when you sleep or if you have a blockage of some kind in your nose.
Buyers Guide to Buy CPAP Machine
- Mask selection. Finding the perfect mask is the most important aspect of CPAP use compliance.
- Noise. While almost all CPAP machine today are made whisper quiet (below 30 db.), some are quieter than others. If sound is your issue, make sure to check the decibel levels of each machine.
- Humidifier. Having air continuously blown into your airways can lead to dry, irritated airways. That’s why most CPAP machines now come with an added humidifier rather than as an optional feature. Some machines come with built-in humidifiers while others come as a separate, connecting unit. Having a humidifier that can separate from the machine can come in handy for travel when you don’t want to take the entire machine.
- Portability. If you frequently travel, having a small, lightweight, compact machine may be your best option, or you may want to buy a separate machine for travel purposes. It’s also important to check to see if your machine comes with multiple plug-in adapters such as a DC power supply or international plugs, as well as an option to use portable battery.
- Ramp. When you first put your CPAP mask on at night and turn the machine on, it may be difficult to adapt to the immediate airflow of your pressure settings, especially if you have moderate to severe sleep apnea, which requires relatively high pressure. A ramp is a comfort feature that allows your machine to gradually build-up to the prescribed pressure, making compliance much easier.
- Exhalation pressure relief. This feature makes it easier to exhale your breath against the incoming pressurized air, making breathing feel more normal and easier. The machine maintains the prescribed air pressure settings during inhalation, but scales them back a bit during exhalation so you don’t feel like you’re fighting against the incoming air.
- Heated tubing. A small heating coil is placed in the tubing that connects the machine to the mask, and helps keep the air in the tube at a constant temperature. This feature aids in reducing condensation build-up in the tube and mask, which can lead to moisture dripping onto one’s face.
- Mask On/Off Alert. Some sleepers toss and turn during sleep. When this happens their mask may come off or lose its seal. Some machines have an alert that beeps to wake the sleeper, reminding them that their mask has come loose.
- Leak Compensation. If your mask is leaking for any reason, machines with this feature can compensate by increasing the airflow to ensure that you are still getting the prescribed pressure at all times.
- Data Recording. Many machines come with various capabilities of recording data. Some only record information such as how long you used the machine at night, while others are capable of giving much more in-depth information such as: apnea events, hypopnea events, changes in pressure, leak rates, and information on snoring, and more. This information can be used to check daily, weekly, or even monthly averages. Many of the devices allow users to view their personal data information, while others are restricted for clinical viewing only.