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CPAP is a treatment and stands for continuous positive airway pressure. You can find many CPAP machines these days from a range of manufacturers. Many people, especially apnea patients, suffer breathing difficulties. With these machines a restful sleep can be restored. Some of these troubles with breathing can be normalized. Because they are complicated pieces of equipment, it’s essential to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Read on to find out all about continuous positive airway pressure and to check out some CPAP machine reviews…
Why do people need CPAP machines?
- People need CPAP machines for many reasons and even healthy individuals can benefit from them.
- Some patients find problems keeping their airways open all the time. This is a medically identified disorder. Unless the nasal airways are open and can act as a good airway ventilator system, a deficiency of adequate oxygenation in the lung occurs.
- You can use CPAP machines for the treatment of pre-term infants, especially when their lungs are not yet fully developed. Physicians often use CPAP for respiratory distress syndromes. This situation can be correlated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
- In regular cases, CPAP machines have a wide ranges of usages in different hospitals and clinics.
- You can use CPAP machines as humidifiers and to help find a remedy for obstructive sleep apnea.
- In a house or a place where ventilation systems don’t work so well – the basement for example – all these CPAP machines can work very effectively.
Which Machine Should I Buy?
As mentioned earlier, there are many good CPAP machines and a wide range of models. Patients often find it difficult to find the best fit. If you are currently a user, I hope you can recall the memory of when you were in that dilemma: ‘Which machine should I buy?’
This is why this section will look at four CPAP machines that anyone can put confidently on their short list. This list of products has been researched taking many aspects into consideration along with the close study of CPAP machine reviews. It should make your buying process significantly easier.
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Last updated on March 17, 2018 8:27 am
What Is A CPAP Machine?
Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (abbreviated as CPAP) involves the use of a machine that helps a person having breathing disorders, suffering from OSA or obstructive sleep apnea by ensuring a steady and natural sleep. With the best CPAP machines, the level of air pressure in the throat is increased and thus airways don’t block while breathing. If you use a CPAP machine, your bed partner can sleep comparatively better as a result of you sleeping more soundly.
A regular CPAP machine includes...
- A mask that is capable of covering your nose & mouth or...
- A mask which covers the nose only (NCPAP)
- Adjustable prongs
You might need some time to get used to a CPAP machine so liaise with your doctor.
What would happen without CPAP machines?
1. Daily challenges
- You will feel tired constantly
- You may find waking up a difficult task
- You may fall asleep while driving
- Your motivational level can start declining. Depression can ensue
- It might be tough for you to concentrate
- Both agitation and irritation levels might rise
- Lacking sleep definitely severely impacts your daily life and your relationship
Though there are numbers of studies underway to determine the exact association between obesity and apnea, the two conditions are undoubtedly linked. Around sixty-five percent Americans who are suffering from sleep apnea are also obese. As with any correlation, though, it's not so simple... Some researchers suggest that sleep apnea brings obesity. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
A statistics has found around forty percent people with sleep apnea have diabetes too. You can think it in two ways... Irregular human lifestyles can bring about diseases like type-2 diabetes. Also, if you are a type-2 diabetes patient and you are not using CPAP machines then this might make the diabetes level worsen further. This can lead to additional problems like eye and skin abnormalities or kidney problems
If you have sleep apnea and you are yet to take advantage of CPAP, the chance of hypertension is enhanced. This is proved by a study conducted by Johns Hopkins 15 years ago
5. Heart & Heart failure
- Sleep apnea leads to issues with the lining of blood vessels. It creates inflammation and thus your metabolic regulation becomes affected
- Sleep apnea patients have increased risk after a stroke has occurred, specifically regarding resilience. CPAP machines are great therapy
How to Use A CPAP Machine?
In this section, you will learn how you can use your CPAP machine effectively.
Basically, a machine has the following things.
- Chin strap
- Elbow attachment
It is good to have a flat level surface upon which to place it.
- Clean your face. It is important to seal the mask properly. Don’t forget to dry your face before proceeding
- Now place your machine at the corner of the bed and ensure that it is placed below the level of your bed
- Put on the mask just above nose level. You can put it over your mouth as well. After that, tighten it up properly. Be careful of over-tightening or you risk bruising & soreness
- Tie the hose & swivel tube. This is not essential but recommended
- At this point, turn on your machine. Check out the airflow. It needs to be continuous. You might find leaking around your mask. In such cases tighten the headgear straps further
- Don’t forget to wash the mask. Use warm water or mild soap. SoClean 2 CPAP Cleaner is also highly recommended for cleaning your CPAP machine. Once clean, dry with a towel
You can also change the settings of your machine. Basically, this depends on the model you are using. When purchasing a CPAP machine, you will receive a user manual. You should keep this manual and consult it whenever you are in doubt about anything. Here is how you can change your settings...
- Carefully unplug the power cord. You will find this at the back of your machine. Check the display. Find the User button. Plug the cord in again and hold the User button. Set-up mode will appear with a beep sound
- Take a good look at the display. Here you can see a number of details like hours already used, elevation, pressure calibration, alarm modes, therapy mode and ramp time. You can adjust them all. Just scroll through and select any one by pressing the User button. In the process of scrolling down, you can skip anything without selecting
- Try to understand what you are seeing. Standard elevation setting refers to the elevation far above the sea level that ranges from 2500 feet – 7500 feet. With the help of the ramp setting, you can lengthen the effective time of gradual pressure building. Typically, this time spans from 10 to 15 minutes. You can set this time up to a level of 45 minutes. In this way, you can fall asleep way before the heavier pressure commences
- If you can understand the manometer, changing CPAP pressure will be possible by itself. Try to figure out the pressure level you want to keep the airways open. Usually, it is not recommended to change this setting. The built-in setting will do the job perfectly adequately
- Unless you have contacted your physician, don’t try to adjust the primary settings of your machine. The best CPAP machine is developed to keep the airways open and to make your breathing regular during the entire time you sleep. So if you change any setting without talking with an expert, health risks might present themselves
How to Choose the Best CPAP Machine?
You can easily understand the need for a CPAP machine if you are a sleep apnea patient. But, before purchasing any particular therapy, there are several questions to answer. Here are few steps to help lead you towards successfully finding the best CPAP machine for your needs...
Step 1: Get a written prescription
- First of all, your problems regarding your sleeping disorder need to be diagnosed properly by a registered physician which you can have done in a hospital or a clinic. They will perform a study on your sleeping overnight and determine the response of your body to different layers of air pressure. In the process of this study ,your physician will also measure a few other things and will write a prescription for you
- That prescription will include a generic name of the machine required and also the type of device recommended for you, for example CPAP or BiPAP. You might also be advised to get a humidifier. Being prescribed from a certified physician is the first step to buy a CPAP machine
Step 2: Shopping around
- At this point you need to shop around. You can see many manufacturer are producing CPAP machines. Some of them are new and some more established. Prices varies considerably. Try to stick with a good brand and don’t consider money as the prime issue at the expense of quality
- You can shop both in online and offline marketplaces
Step 3: Choose the best CPAP mask
- Choosing the best cpap mask is often more important than choosing the machine
- Check out which type of mask is good for you. Think about comfort and ease of cleaning
Step 4: Bells & Whistles
- If you are ready to spend a bit more, there are some accessories like battery backup available
- If you use a humidifier and live in a cold place, rainout-reduction kit can help to prevent condensation. To improve mobility, buying hose extensions is suggested. To achieve a softer feel, insulated sleeves works brilliantly
- You can find CPAP machines containing memory chips that can record different measurements. Your doctor can then calibrate your update well even if you are traveling somewhere towards higher altitudes
Step 5: Read public reviews and make a short list
- At this point you should read public reviews on various similar products. Try reading reviews on relevant blogs and forums. Attempt to understand what people are saying and why they are applauding or grilling a particular machine
- You can talk with a user directly. Just ask among your friends or relatives
- At this point you can make your short list
Step 6: Consider pricing issue to reevaluate and buy
- This is the final step. Take your short list and crosscheck the pricing. Find out which short listed product is asking a reasonable price
- Select and make the buy!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Question 1 : What if I put the device below the humidifier?
Answer: You can place the device at same level as the humidifier but not below it. Also, place it over the humidifier. In this way you can minimize the risks of entering water into the device. Before transporting the device the water should be drained
Question 2 : My mask is full-faced. Do I require more water at night?
Answer: Find out whether there is any leakage from your mask. Usually, full-faced masks don’t need to have the water changed every night
Question 3: Should I buy the most expensive CPAP machine on the market?
Answer: The best answer to this is to consider fully your budget and just what value for money you will get from the CPAP machine
Question 4: Do I need to turn on the humidifier before going to bed?
Answer: You can do. Do it 20 minutes before. Do it only when the air becomes irritating
Question 5: I use the humidifier in winter. Should I use it the rest of the year?
Answer: In case you find nasal congestion during other seasons, you could try using it to achieve nasal comfort.
Question 6: Which brand should I choose?
Answer: It would not be smart to focus on any particular brand. Besides, naming one particular brand would not be fair of us. Depending on your requirements and the doctor's advice, patients have different needs. There is no obligation that someone ought to buy from a fixed brand.
Question 7: My machine shuts off during night time. What could the problem be?
Answer: This common scenario can occur for a number of reasons. It can be a technical difficulty. But, before calling a technician try to check the plugging system. Test the filter and find out whether that is blocked or not. If it is blocked, you should change it immediately
Question 8: How can I remove oil from my mask?
Answer: There is nothing complicated in this. Just use regular, mild soap. Use fresh water if possible and allow it to dry naturally
Question 9: I’m a sleep apnea patient but CPAP machines seem awful to me! Are there any alternatives?
Answer: CPAP therapy is just fine. Yeah, I can understand what you are feeling as no one want to have masks over their nose. But by using a CPAP machine you can guard against many further deteriorative health situations. If you really want alternatives, try HFT (high flow therapy). This is not, though, a direct alternative to CPAP therapy. If your doctor advises you to undertake CPAP, you should adhere to that guidance
Question 10: Are there any differences between humidifiers used for a thin old man and a fat growing teen?
Answer: No. Humidifiers are humidifiers. There is no humidifier specifically based on different human age or body mass
CPAP machines are a complete solution for respirational abnormalities.
It is evident from the perspective of medical science that, unless a person is ready for surgery, there is no other workable option except CPAP therapy for a sleep-apnea patient. CPAP therapy can be identified as a life saver.
If you are suffering from snoring, and not sleep apnea, then we do recommend that you check out some of the best anti snoring devices, where you can get a mouthpiece, and anything that can help you for your snoring problems.
The best CPAP machine is a complete system that can solve your nasal discomfort while breathing and help you to kiss goodbye to sleep apnea.