A CPAP machine is a machine that is used to treat sleep apnea – a sleep disorder that causes breathing to start and stop repeatedly? People suffering from sleep apnea snore aloud and often wake up feeling tired after a full night’s sleep.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea: This is the most common type among the three. It is caused by the relaxation of throat muscles.
- Central sleep apnea: Occurs when the brain fails to properly send signals to your breathing muscles.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome: Occurs when someone suffers from both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Symptoms for both central and obstructive sleep apneas sometimes overlap. This makes it difficult to determine which is which. The most common symptoms, however, include loud snoring, episodes of interrupted breathing, gasping, insomnia, morning headaches, irritability, short attention spans when awake, and hypersomnia. Sleep apnea can affect both children and adults.
Some of the complications that arise from having the disorder include daytime fatigue, drowsiness, high blood pressure, heart problems, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, complications with surgery and medication, liver issues, and sleep-deprived patterns.
CPAP machines are used to increase air circulation throughout the lungs during sleep. They pump pressurized air through a CPAP mask that allows air to pass through the nose or mouth. This helps the patient to breathe as they sleep, hence, allowing oxygen levels to rise. It also helps to reduce the effects that sleep apnea has on general health.
CPAP masks are designed to fit either the nose or mouth and even both. Nasal masks are prescribed to those that breathe through the nose while full face masks are given to those that do so through the mouth.
Different Types of CPAP Machines
The different types of CPAP machines are divided according to the form of Positive Airway Pressure therapy they deliver. They include:
- CPAP Machines: These devices are normally prescribed to patients that experience cessations while at sleep. They are set at one particular air pressure of between 4 and 20. A constant rate allows for continuous breathing throughout the night. It’s also ideal for those new to the therapy.
- APAP Machines: APAP machines, which are also called Automatic Positive Airway Pressure machines, deliver air throughout the night at varying pressure. They can automatically determine the air pressure needed and adjust accordingly while the patient is asleep. The data is also recorded to determine if the patient requires further treatment.
- BiPAP Machines: BiPAP stands for Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure. These machines have two types of pressure settings – expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) for exhalation and inspiratory positive airway press (IPAP) for inhalation. Sometimes, changes in breathing pressure can cause discomfort. To make it possible to exhale against the pressure, BiPAP devices reduce the pressure for exhalation and increase it for inhalation.
Where to Buy CPAP Machines
There are several companies that manufacturer CPAP machines. Just like carmakers, they are ranked according to their build quality, value, and customer satisfaction. If you get a CPAP device through your health insurance, you may not get the opportunity to choose your manufacturer. However, if you do, below is a list of some of the key players that manufacture and sell CPAP machines:
- Philips Respironics: Philips was the first company to make CPAP machines. Their brand was previously known as Respironics and continues to build high-quality and functional CPAP devices till date.
- ResMed: ResMed has built a reputation for leading innovation in CPAP machines. It has consistently produced high-quality devices that many people swear by. Its products are among the priciest but are highly recommended by Easy CPAP.
- DeVilbiss: DeVilbiss is the company behind IntelliPAP, a brand that produces CPAP machines. They’ve been making masks for a while now, and offer some of the most affordable products on the market.
- Somnetics: Somnetics is the company behind Transcend, a brand that boasts of a series of machines. They are a major player in making small and portable travel CPAP machines.
- Human Design Medical: Human Design Medical manufactures CPAP machines under the brand Z1. They also provide affordable devices that are less expensive compared to those of other brands.
There are two ways in which you can buy your CPAP machine. One is working with your doctor who then gets in touch with a Durable Medical Provide (DME) to get you one or, buying online. The latter provides a wider selection to choose from, making it easier to get a CPAP machine that appeal to you.
However, before getting one, ensure that you have a prescription from a doctor who will specify what type of machine is appropriate. This will be determined through a sleep study which checks your heart rate, breathing, and blood oxygen levels while you sleep.